holly

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English[edit]

leaves and berries of European holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English holly, holi, holie, a shortened variation of holin, holyn (> English dialectal hollen, holm), from Old English holeġn, holen (holly; prince, protector), from Proto-West Germanic *hulis (holly), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *kelh₂- (to beat, break).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhɒli/
  • Rhymes: -ɒli
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈhɑli/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

holly (countable and uncountable, plural hollies)

  1. Any of various shrubs or (mostly) small trees, of the genus Ilex, either evergreen or deciduous, used as decoration especially at Christmas.
    • 1940, Rosetta E. Clarkson, Green Enchantments: The Magic Spell of Gardens, The Macmillan Company, page 273:
      Have a tree or two the witches particularly like, such as the alder, larch, cypress and hemlock; then, to counteract any possible evil effects, there must be a holly, yew, hazel, elder, mountain ash or juniper.
  2. The wood from this tree.
  3. (with a qualifier) Any of several not closely related plant species likened to Ilex because of their prickly, evergreen foliage and/or round, bright-red berries

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Adjective[edit]

holly

  1. Alternative form of holy (sacred)

Etymology 2[edit]

Adjective[edit]

holly

  1. Alternative form of holy (porous)

Yola[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English holly, from Old English hāliġ, from Proto-West Germanic *hailag.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

holly

  1. holy
    • 1867, GLOSSARY OF THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY:
      Hollydie.
      Holiday.

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • Jacob Poole (d. 1827) (before 1828), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, published 1867, page 47