barberry

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English[edit]

Berberis thunbergii shoot with fruit

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English berberie, from Medieval Latin berberis, of unknown origin.

Noun[edit]

barberry (plural barberries)

  1. Any of the thorny shrubs of genus Berberis, which bear yellow flowers and red or blue-black berries.
    • 1624, Philip Barrough [i.e., Philip Barrow], “Of Making Bolus”, in The Method of Physick, Contaning[sic] the Cavses, Signes, and Cvres of Inward Diseases in Mans Body, from the Head to the Foote. Whereunto is Added, The Forme and Rule of Making Remedies and Medicines, which Our Physitions Commonly Vse at this Day, with the Proportion, Quantity, and Names of Each Medicine, book VII, 6th edition, London: Imprinted by Richard Field, dwelling in great Woodstreete, OCLC 79430651, page 397:
      Bolvs in Engliſh is called a morſell. It is a medicine laxatiue, in forme and faſhion it is meanely whole, and it is ſwallowed by little gobbets. [] Medulla Caſſiæ fiſtulæ [n]ewly drawne, . j. or ʒ. x. the graines, that is, the kernels, of Barberies, . ß and with Sugar roſet [sugar compounded with rose petals], make a bole.

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