Origin of brier1
- the white heath, Erica arborea, of France and Corsica, the woody root of which is used for making tobacco pipes.
- a pipe made of brierroot.
Origin of brier2
- (chiefly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) a term used to refer to a rustic or hillbilly, especially one from Appalachia.
Origin of brier3
Related Words for briarshrubbery, plant, hinterland, scrub, wilderness, jungle, vine, backwoods, outback, hedge, forest, bramble, thicket, brush, creeper, briar, scrubland, chaparral, knob, cut
Examples from the Web for briar
Historical Examples of briar
Hips are preferred; at least, the fruit of the briar is the first of the two to disappear.Round About a Great Estate
He was yellow with fever, and the hand that filled the briar pipe shook with ague.Bones
He followed Sweet Briar River on his way to the meeting of the clans.The Later Cave-Men
Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
A briar pipe is made, not from briar, but from the root of heather, Fr.The Romance of Words (4th ed.)
He stared at the bowl of his briar for a moment, then looked up at Cannon.Hail to the Chief
Gordon Randall Garrett
- Also called: tree heath an ericaceous shrub, Erica arborea, of S Europe, having a hard woody root (briarroot)
- a tobacco pipe made from the root of this plant
Word Origin for briar
- a variant spelling of brier 1
- any of various thorny shrubs or other plants, such as the sweetbrier and greenbrier
Word Origin for brier
- a variant spelling of briar 1
Word Origin and History for briar
see brier (n.1).
"thorny shrub, heath," 1540s, variant of Middle English brere, from Old English brer (Anglian), brær (West Saxon) "brier, bramble, prickly bush," of unknown origin. Briar is the most recent variant (c.1600). Originally used of prickly, thorny bushes in general, now mostly restricted to wild rose bushes. Used figuratively (in plural) for "troubles" from c.1500.
type of tobacco pipe introduced to England c.1859 and made from the root of a certain shrub, 1868, from French bruyère "heath plant," from Old French bruiere "heather, briar, heathland, moor" (12c.), from Gallo-Romance *brucaria, from *brucus "heather," from Gaulish (cf. Breton brug "heath," Old Irish froech). Form altered in English by influence of brier (n.1).