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[kran-ber-ee, -buh-ree] /ˈkrænˌbɛr i, -bə ri/
noun, plural cranberries.
the red, acid fruit or berry of certain plants of the genus Vaccinium, of the heath family, as V. macrocarpon (large cranberry or American cranberry) or V. oxycoccus (small cranberry or European cranberry) used in making sauce, relish, jelly, or juice.
the plant itself, growing wild in bogs or cultivated in acid soils, especially in the northeastern U.S.
Origin of cranberry
1640-50, Americanism; < Low German kraanbere. See crane, berry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cranberry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He married a girl from cranberry Medder, and they went down East.

  • Don't she boss him round like the overseer on a cranberry swamp?

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It was a cranberry, withered and softened by the winter frosts.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
  • He leaned against the cranberry house and held on to his nose.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Splendid—I do believe we're to have cranberry preserve at dinner.

    The Great Hunger Johan Bojer
British Dictionary definitions for cranberry


/ˈkrænbərɪ; -brɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
any of several trailing ericaceous shrubs of the genus Vaccinium, such as the European V. oxycoccus, that bear sour edible red berries
the berry of this plant, used to make sauce or jelly
Word Origin
C17: from Low German kraanbere, from kraancrane + bereberry
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 cranberry

1640s, American English adaptation of Low German kraanbere, from kraan "crane" (see crane (n.)) + Middle Low German bere "berry" (see berry). Perhaps so called from a resemblance between the plants' stamens and the beaks of cranes.

German and Dutch settlers in the New World apparently recognized the similarity between the European berries (Vaccinium oxycoccos) and the larger North American variety (V. macrocarpum) and transferred the name. In England, they were marshwhort or fenberries, but the North American berries, and the name, were brought over late 17c. The native Algonquian name for the plant is represented by West Abenaki popokwa.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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