See more synonyms for berry on
noun, plural ber·ries.
  1. any small, usually stoneless, juicy fruit, irrespective of botanical structure, as the huckleberry, strawberry, or hackberry.
  2. Botany. a simple fruit having a pulpy pericarp in which the seeds are embedded, as the grape, gooseberry, currant, or tomato.
  3. a dry seed or kernel, as of wheat.
  4. the hip of the rose.
  5. one of the eggs of a lobster, crayfish, etc.
  6. the berries, Older Slang. someone or something very attractive or unusual.
verb (used without object), ber·ried, ber·ry·ing.
  1. to gather or pick berries: We went berrying this morning.
  2. to bear or produce berries.

Origin of berry

before 1000; Middle English berie, Old English beri(g)e; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German beri (German Beere), Old Norse ber < Germanic basjá-; akin to Dutch besie, Gothic -basi < Germanic básja-
Related formsber·ry·less, adjectiveber·ry·like, adjective
Can be confusedBarry berry bury


[ber-ee; for 2 also French be-ree]
  1. Charles Edward AndersonChuck, born 1926, U.S. rock-'n'-roll singer, musician, and composer.
  2. Also Ber·ri. a former province in central France. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for berry

kernel, bean, grain, hip, seed, pome, drupe, drupelet, haw

Examples from the Web for berry

Contemporary Examples of berry

Historical Examples of berry

  • In Berry it is the women that are sour, but the wines are rich.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • At times they lost the trail, as it was overgrown with fern and berry bush.

  • And Cap'n Berry—the depot master—says he went to Trumet on the afternoon freight.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • For at that instant Miss Berry came into the room, entering from the hall.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • Miss Berry laughed, too, but she still seemed somewhat puzzled.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for berry


noun plural -ries
  1. any of various small edible fruits such as the blackberry and strawberry
  2. botany an indehiscent fruit with two or more seeds and a fleshy pericarp, such as the grape or gooseberry
  3. any of various seeds or dried kernels, such as a coffee bean
  4. the egg of a lobster, crayfish, or similar animal
verb -ries, -rying or -ried (intr)
  1. to bear or produce berries
  2. to gather or look for berries
Derived Formsberried, adjective

Word Origin for berry

Old English berie; related to Old High German beri, Dutch bezie


  1. (ˈbɛrɪ) Chuck, full name Charles Edward Berry . born 1926, US rock-and-roll guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His frequently covered songs include "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), "Memphis, Tennessee" (1959), and "Promised Land" (1964)
  2. (French bɛri) Jean de France (ʒɑ̃ də frɑ̃s), Duc de. 1340–1416, French prince, son of King John II; coregent (1380–88) for Charles VI and a famous patron of the arts
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

Word Origin and History for berry

Old English berie, from Proto-Germanic *basjom (cf. Old Norse ber, Middle Dutch bere, German Beere "berry;" Old Saxon winber, Gothic weinabasi "grape"), of unknown origin. This and apple are the only native fruit names.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

berry in Science


  1. A simple fruit that has many seeds in a fleshy pulp. Grapes, bananas, tomatoes, and blueberries are berries. Compare drupe pome. See more at simple fruit.
  2. A seed or dried kernel of certain kinds of grain or other plants such as wheat, barley, or coffee.
Usage: Cucumbers and tomatoes aren't usually thought of as berries, but to a botanist they are in fact berries, while strawberries and raspberries are not. In botany, a berry is a fleshy kind of simple fruit consisting of a single ovary that has multiple seeds. Other true berries besides cucumbers and tomatoes are bananas, oranges, grapes, and blueberries. Many fruits that are popularly called berries have a different structure and thus are not true berries. For example, strawberries and raspberries are aggregate fruits, developed from multiple ovaries of a single flower. The mulberry is not a true berry either. It is a multiple fruit, like the pineapple, and is made up of the ovaries of several individual flowers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.