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[goos-ber-ee, -buh-ree, gooz-] /ˈgusˌbɛr i, -bə ri, ˈguz-/
noun, plural gooseberries.
the edible, acid, globular, sometimes spiny fruit of certain prickly shrubs belonging to the genus Ribes, of the saxifrage family, especially R. uva-crispa (or R. grossularia).
a shrub bearing this fruit.
Origin of gooseberry
First recorded in 1525-35; goose + berry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gooseberry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then a cat shot from under a gooseberry bush, and she gave a little scream.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Down the middle of the garden was a row of gooseberry and currant bushes.

    O Pioneers! Willa Cather
  • Preserved fruit was served with the fish, and gooseberry jam with the roast.

    A Royal Prisoner Pierre Souvestre
  • “You are not to go into the gooseberry garden,” said the aunt, changing the subject.

  • She gave me a doughnut and a piece of cheese as well as a gooseberry tart.

    Rebecca's Promise Frances R. Sterrett
  • This is a great day, the day when Mamma Gerard makes her gooseberry preserves.

  • Let's go to the kitchen-garden, and look among the gooseberry bushes.

    Dodo Wonders E. F. Benson
  • The berries are of a very dark purple, and they are nearly as large as a gooseberry.

    Botany for Ladies Jane Loudon
  • The sky was rosy, and the Seine was the colour of gooseberry sirup.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2 Gustave Flaubert
British Dictionary definitions for gooseberry


/ˈɡʊzbərɪ; -brɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
a Eurasian shrub, Ribes uva-crispa (or R. grossularia), having greenish, purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries: family Grossulariaceae See also currant (sense 2)
  1. the berry of this plant
  2. (as modifier): gooseberry jam
(Brit, informal) an unwanted single person in a group of couples, esp a third person with a couple (often in the phrase play gooseberry)
Cape gooseberry, a tropical American solanaceous plant, Physalis peruviana, naturalized in southern Africa, having yellow flowers and edible yellow berries See also ground cherry
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 gooseberry

1530s, perhaps from German Krausebeere or Kräuselbeere, related to Middle Dutch croesel "gooseberry," and to German kraus "crispy, curly" [Klein, etc.]. Under this theory, gooseberry would be folk etymology. But OED editors find no reason to prefer this to a literal reading, because "the grounds on which plants and fruits have received names associating them with animals are so commonly inexplicable, that the want of appropriateness in the meaning affords no sufficient ground for assuming that the word is an etymological corruption."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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