buckthorn

[ buhk-thawrn ]
/ ˈbʌkˌθɔrn /

noun

any of several, sometimes thorny trees or shrubs belonging to the genus Rhamnus, especially R. frangula, the bark of which is used in medicine.Compare buckthorn family.
a tree or shrub belonging to the genus Bumelia, of the sapodilla family, especially B. lycioides, a thorny tree having elliptic leaves and large clusters of white flowers, common in the southern and part of the central U.S.

Origin of buckthorn

1570–80; buck1 + thorn, rendering New Latin cervi spina
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for buckthorn

buckthorn

/ (ˈbʌkˌθɔːn) /

noun

any of several thorny small-flowered shrubs of the genus Rhamnus, esp the Eurasian species R. cathartica, whose berries were formerly used as a purgative: family RhamnaceaeSee also sea buckthorn

Word Origin for buckthorn

C16: from buck 1 (from the spiny branches, imagined as resembling antlers) + thorn
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