[ bey-ber-ee, -buh-ree ]

noun,plural bay·ber·ries.
  1. any of several often aromatic trees or shrubs of the genus Myrica, as M. pensylvanica, of northeastern North America, and M. californica, of the western U.S.: Compare wax myrtle.

  2. the berry of such a plant.

Origin of bayberry

First recorded in 1570–80; bay4 + berry

Words Nearby bayberry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bayberry in a sentence

  • I conveyed the bayberry wax to Abb de Chalut, with your compliments, as you desired.

  • He cantered away into the shrub-oaks and bayberry-bushes which chanced to grow there, but were hardly high enough to conceal him.

    Cape Cod | Henry D. Thoreau
  • The darkness fell fast, and the supper dishes had to be put under some bayberry bushes until morning.

    Betty Leicester | Sarah Orne Jewett
  • Evidently, by colonial time, twilight was coming on; for now the fragrant bayberry candles were lighted.

    Virginia: The Old Dominion | Frank W. Hutchins and Cortelle Hutchins
  • The green bayberry candles grew dim, and in their fragrant smoke the old colonials faded away.

    Virginia: The Old Dominion | Frank W. Hutchins and Cortelle Hutchins

British Dictionary definitions for bayberry



/ (ˈbeɪbərɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. any of several North American aromatic shrubs or small trees of the genus Myrica, that bear grey waxy berries: family Myricaceae: See also wax myrtle

  2. Also called: bay rum tree a tropical American myrtaceous tree, Pimenta racemosa, that yields an oil used in making bay rum

  1. the fruit of any of these plants

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