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EnglishEdit

 
Baskets of various berries in the common sense. Only blueberries are berries in the botanical sense.
 
Collage of four berries in the botanical sense, not to the same scale: red gooseberries (left), red currants (top), a persimmon (bottom) and grapes (right).
 
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PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English berye, from Old English beriġe, from Proto-Germanic *bazją[1] (compare German Beere, Norwegian and Danish bær), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰes- (to blow, chew, rub), compare Ancient Greek ψάω (psáō, I rub), Sanskrit बभस्ति (bábhasti, he chews, devours)[2]. For the semantic development, compare Old Church Slavonic гроуша (gruša, pear), from гроушити (grušiti, to break, destroy); Latin pirum (pear), from *peis- (to stick, pound)[3].

The slang sense “police car” may come from the lights on the vehicles’ roofs.[4]

NounEdit

berry (plural berries)

  1. A small succulent fruit, of any one of many varieties.
  2. (botany) A soft fruit which develops from a single ovary and contains seeds not encased in pits.
  3. A coffee bean.
  4. One of the ova or eggs of a fish.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Travis to this entry?)
  5. (slang, US, African American) A police car.
Usage notesEdit

Many fruits commonly regarded as berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, are not berries in the botanical sense, while many fruits which are berries in the botanical sense are not regarded as berries in common parlance, for example bananas and pumpkins.

Derived termsEdit
DescendantsEdit
TranslationsEdit
ReferencesEdit
  1. ^ Marlies Philippa et al., eds., Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands, A-Z, s.v. “bes” (Amsterdam UP, 3 Dec. 2009) [1].
  2. ^ J.P. Mallory & D.Q. Adams, eds., Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, s.vv. “blow”, “rub” (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997), pp. 72, 490.
  3. ^ Vladimir Orel, A Handbook of Germanic Etymology, s.v. “*ƀazjan” (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 40.
  4. ^ Jonathon Green (2018), “berry, n.1”, in Green's Dictionary of Slang[2]

VerbEdit

berry (third-person singular simple present berries, present participle berrying, simple past and past participle berried)

  1. To pick berries.
    On summer days Grandma used to take us berrying, whether we wanted to go or not.
  2. To bear or produce berries.
Usage notesEdit
  • Unlikely to be used to refer to commercial harvesting of berries.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English berȝe, berghe, from Old English beorġe, dative form of beorg (mountain, hill, mound, barrow), from Proto-Germanic *bergaz (mountain, hill). More at barrow.

Alternative formsEdit

NounEdit

berry (plural berries)

  1. (now chiefly dialectal) A mound; a barrow.

Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English bery (a burrow). More at burrow.

NounEdit

berry (plural berries)

  1. (dialectal) A burrow, especially a rabbit's burrow.
  2. An excavation; a military mine.

Etymology 4Edit

From Middle English beryen, berien, from Old English *berian (found only in past participle ġebered (crushed, kneaded, harassed, oppressed, vexed)), from Proto-Germanic *barjaną (to beat, hit), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer- (to rip, cut, split, grate). Cognate with Scots berry, barry (to thresh, thrash), German beren (to beat, knead), Icelandic berja (to beat), Latin feriō (strike, hit, verb).

VerbEdit

berry (third-person singular simple present berries, present participle berrying, simple past and past participle berried)

  1. (transitive) To beat; give a beating to; thrash.
  2. (transitive) To thresh (grain).

AnagramsEdit