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[ber-ee] /ˈbɛr i/
noun, plural berries.
any small, usually stoneless, juicy fruit, irrespective of botanical structure, as the huckleberry, strawberry, or hackberry.
Botany. a simple fruit having a pulpy pericarp in which the seeds are embedded, as the grape, gooseberry, currant, or tomato.
a dry seed or kernel, as of wheat.
the hip of the rose.
one of the eggs of a lobster, crayfish, etc.
the berries, Older Slang. someone or something very attractive or unusual.
verb (used without object), berried, berrying.
to gather or pick berries:
We went berrying this morning.
to bear or produce berries.
Origin of berry
before 1000; Middle English berie, Old English beri(g)e; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German beri (German Beere), Old Norse ber < Germanic basjá-; akin to Dutch besie, Gothic -basi < Germanic básja-
Related forms
berryless, adjective
berrylike, adjective
Can be confused
Barry, berry, bury. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for berries


noun (pl) -ries
any of various small edible fruits such as the blackberry and strawberry
(botany) an indehiscent fruit with two or more seeds and a fleshy pericarp, such as the grape or gooseberry
any of various seeds or dried kernels, such as a coffee bean
the egg of a lobster, crayfish, or similar animal
verb (intransitive) -ries, -rying, -ried
to bear or produce berries
to gather or look for berries
Derived Forms
berried, adjective
Word Origin
Old English berie; related to Old High German beri, Dutch bezie


(ˈbɛrɪ). Chuck, full name Charles Edward Berry. born 1926, US rock-and-roll guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His frequently covered songs include "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), "Memphis, Tennessee" (1959), and "Promised Land" (1964)
(French) (bɛri). Jean de France (ʒɑ̃ də frɑ̃s), Duc de. 1340–1416, French prince, son of King John II; coregent (1380–88) for Charles VI and a famous patron of the arts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for berries



Old English berie, from Proto-Germanic *basjom (cf. Old Norse ber, Middle Dutch bere, German Beere "berry;" Old Saxon winber, Gothic weinabasi "grape"), of unknown origin. This and apple are the only native fruit names.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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berries in Science
  1. A simple fruit that has many seeds in a fleshy pulp. Grapes, bananas, tomatoes, and blueberries are berries. Compare drupe, pome. See more at simple fruit.

  2. A seed or dried kernel of certain kinds of grain or other plants such as wheat, barley, or coffee.

Our Living Language  : Cucumbers and tomatoes aren't usually thought of as berries, but to a botanist they are in fact berries, while strawberries and raspberries are not. In botany, a berry is a fleshy kind of simple fruit consisting of a single ovary that has multiple seeds. Other true berries besides cucumbers and tomatoes are bananas, oranges, grapes, and blueberries. Many fruits that are popularly called berries have a different structure and thus are not true berries. For example, strawberries and raspberries are aggregate fruits, developed from multiple ovaries of a single flower. The mulberry is not a true berry either. It is a multiple fruit, like the pineapple, and is made up of the ovaries of several individual flowers.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for berries



A dollar

[1900s+; perhaps fr the notion of a small unit of something good, and alliterating with buck; see the berries]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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