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[hak-ber-ee, -buh-ree]
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noun, plural hack·ber·ries.
  1. any of several trees or shrubs belonging to the genus Celtis, of the elm family, bearing cherrylike fruit.
  2. the sometimes edible fruit of such a tree.
  3. the wood of such a tree.
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Origin of hackberry

1775–85, Americanism; variant of hagberry (of Scandinavian origin)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hackberry

Historical Examples

  • It is in autumn, of course, that the hackberry earns its name, sugarberry.

    Trees Every Child Should Know

    Julia Ellen Rogers

  • The fruit of the black cherry is more plentiful than that of the hackberry.

  • The caterpillar feeds on the hackberry (Celtis occidentalis).

    The Butterfly Book

    William Jacob Holland

  • Some of the American species of hackberry are very variable.

    Trees of Indiana

    Charles Clemon Deam

  • Hackberry has been observed west of one hundred and first meridian.

    Buffalo Land

    W. E. Webb

British Dictionary definitions for hackberry


noun plural -ries
  1. any American tree or shrub of the ulmaceous genus Celtis, having edible cherry-like fruits
  2. the fruit or soft yellowish wood of such a tree
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Word Origin

C18: variant of C16 hagberry, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse heggr hackberry
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