[ ber-ee ]
/ ˈbɛr i /
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noun, plural ber·ries.
verb (used without object), ber·ried, ber·ry·ing.
to gather or pick berries: We went berrying this morning.
to bear or produce berries.


Are These Foods Fruits, Vegetables, Or Berries?

How can we know what is a fruit? A vegetable? A berry? A nut? Doesn't it seem like it's always changing? Why is it so confusing?

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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-


ber·ry·less, adjectiveber·ry·like, adjective


berry , bury

Other definitions for berry (2 of 2)

[ ber-ee; for 2 also French be-ree ]
/ ˈbɛr i; for 2 also French bɛˈri /

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck", 1926–2017, U.S. rock-'n'-roll singer, musician, and composer.
Also Berri. a former province in central France.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does berry mean?

A berry is a small, stoneless, juicy fruit.

Commonly, a berry is any small fruit that has no pit and usually produces juice. Berries range from sweet, such as the blueberry, to sour, such as the raspberry.

In botany, a berry is specifically a fruit with a pulpy outer wall and many seeds. Botanically, then, some fruits commonly thought of as berries are not actually berries, including strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Fruits that botanically are berries include blueberries, bananas, grapes, and tomatoes.

Less commonly, berry can also refer to a dry seed or kernel.

As a verb, to berry means to pick berries or to produce berries.

Example: We picked berries today, filling up three whole baskets.

Where does berry come from?

The first records of the term berry come from before the year 1000. It ultimately comes from the Old English berige.

The fruit we commonly refer to as berries are known for containing high levels of antioxidants, which may protect against heart disease or cancer. They are also high in vitamin C and other vitamins that protect the immune system.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to berry?

  • berryless (adjective)
  • berrylike (adjective)

What are some synonyms for berry?

What are some words that share a root or word element with berry?

What are some words that often get used in discussing berry?

How is berry used in real life?

Berry is most often used to refer to a small, juicy fruit, whether it is botanically a true berry or not.



Try using berry!

True or False?

What we commonly call a berry is the same as a botanical berry.

How to use berry in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for berry (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbɛrɪ) /

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

Derived forms of berry

berried, adjective

Word Origin for berry

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

British Dictionary definitions for berry (2 of 2)


(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)
(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

Scientific definitions for berry

[ bĕrē ]

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.
A seed or dried kernel of certain kinds of grain or other plants such as wheat, barley, or coffee.


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.