- the small, sour, blackish fruit of the blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, of the rose family.
- the shrub itself.
- any of various other plants of the genus Prunus, as a shrub or small tree, P. alleghaniensis, bearing dark-purple fruit.
Origin of sloe
Examples from the Web for sloe
The effect of a couple of large glasses of sloe gin was quickly apparent.Simon
J. Storer Clouston
The entire plant is used for much the same purposes as the sloe.
The manufacture of sloe gin is as simple as that of cherry brandy.Cakes & Ale
It feeds on hawthorn chiefly, but sometimes on sloe, plum, etc.The Moths of the British Isles, Second Series
Nature, in inventing the wild grape, has been as generous as in her gift of the sloe.The Golden Butterfly
- the small sour blue-black fruit of the blackthorn
- another name for blackthorn
Word Origin and History for sloe
fruit of the blackthorn, Old English slah (plural slan), from Proto-Germanic *slaikhwon (cf. Middle Dutch sleeu, Dutch slee, Old High German sleha, German Schlehe), from PIE *sleie- "blue, bluish, blue-black" (see livid).
The vowel has been influenced by that in the old plural form, which according to OED persisted into the 17c. Scottish slae preserves the older vowel. Sloe-eyed is attested from 1804; sloe gin first recorded 1878.