Dictionary.com

brier

1

or bri·ar

[ brahy-er ]
/ ˈbraɪ ər /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: brier / briery on Thesaurus.com

noun
a prickly plant or shrub, especially the sweetbrier or a greenbrier.
a tangled mass of prickly plants.
a thorny stem or twig.
QUIZ
TAKE JOY IN ACING THIS QUIZ ON “PRIDE” SYNONYMS
Hold your head up high as you embark on this quiz that explores some of the synonyms and meanings of “pride.”
Question 1 of 7
What does "dignity" mean?

Origin of brier

1
First recorded before 1000; Middle English brer, breir, Old English brǣr, brēr; akin to bramble

OTHER WORDS FROM brier

bri·er·y, adjective

Other definitions for brier (2 of 3)

brier2

or bri·ar

[ brahy-er ]
/ ˈbraɪ ər /

noun
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 brier

2
First recorded in 1865–70; earlier bruyer, from French bruyère, Old French, from unattested Vulgar Latin brūcāria “field of heather, heath,” from Late Latin brūcus “heath,” from unattested Gaulish broiko- (from Celtic wroiko-, source of Old Irish froech, Welsh grug ) + Latin -āria feminine of Latin noun suffix -arius; see -ary, -er2, -ar2

Other definitions for brier (3 of 3)

brier3

or bri·ar

[ brahy-er ]
/ ˈbraɪ ər /

noun Usually Disparaging.
(chiefly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) a term used to refer to a rustic, unsophisticated person, especially one from Appalachia.

Origin of brier

3
First recorded in 1895–1900; shortening of brier breaker,briar breaker, probably a reference to the brier bushes found in Southern Appalachia; see also brier2

usage note for brier

This term is usually used with disparaging intent to refer to those white people who migrated north and west from Southern Appalachia throughout the first half of the 20th century. These migrants, mostly from eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, were looking for jobs in southeastern Ohio and other places. Brier has negative connotations similar to words such as hillbilly and redneck . But brier has also been used as a term of self-reference by the migrants themselves and their descendants.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use brier in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for brier (1 of 2)

brier1

briar

/ (ˈbraɪə) /

noun
any of various thorny shrubs or other plants, such as the sweetbrier and greenbrier

Derived forms of brier

briery or briary, adjective

Word Origin for brier

Old English brēr, brǣr, of obscure origin

British Dictionary definitions for brier (2 of 2)

brier2
/ (ˈbraɪə) /

noun
a variant spelling of briar 1
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
FEEDBACK