- a widely distributed cereal plant belonging to the genus Hordeum, of the grass family, having awned flowers that grow in tightly bunched spikes, with three small additional spikes at each node.
- the grain of this plant, used as food and in making beer, ale, and whiskey.
Origin of barley1
- a truce or quarter, especially in children's games; parley.
Origin of barley2
Examples from the Web for barley
When you think of what it takes to make your favorite spirit, ingredients like grapes, barley, or herbs probably come to mind.How Much Do Whisky Casks Really Affect Taste?
December 10, 2014
Gluten is a protein primarily found in wheat, barley, and rye.Research Shows Link Between NSAID Use and Gut Disease
Valerie Vande Panne
April 21, 2014
Rye, barley, and sometimes wheat can figure into the grain mixture, but corn has to claim the majority.Hillbilly Heaven: The History of Small-Batch Bourbon
March 29, 2014
We came across men in loose djellabas riding tiny donkeys, and others scything by hand, leaving piles of barley under olive trees.On Foot in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco
January 22, 2014
They buried us without shroud or coffin And in August ... the barley grew up out of our grave.Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013: Accessible, Yes, and Beautiful
August 30, 2013
The ground, embraced by the spurs, was filled with crops of maize and barley.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
Brewers' grains are the residue of barley malt and corn grits.Government by the Brewers?
Some had all the venison and bear meat they wanted, but no barley or oats.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
I thought that I smelled gold and silver beneath the barley meal.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
And she had just thirstily drained a huge glass of barley water.The Law-Breakers
- any of various erect annual temperate grasses of the genus Hordeum, esp H. vulgare, that have short leaves and dense bristly flower spikes and are widely cultivated for grain and forage
- the grain of any of these grasses, used in making beer and whisky and for soups, puddings, etcSee also pearl barley
- dialect a cry for truce or respite from the rules of a game
Word Origin and History for barley
Old English bærlic, originally an adjective, "of barley," from bere "barley" (from Proto-Germanic *bariz, *baraz) + -lic "body, like." First element is related to Old Norse barr "barley," and cognate with Latin far (genitive farris) "coarse grain, meal;" probably from PIE *bhars- "bristle, point, projection" (see bristle (n.)).