• synonyms


[dawg-ber-ee, -buh-ree, dog-]
noun, plural dog·ber·ries.
  1. the berry or fruit of any of various plants, as the European dogwood, Cornus sanguinea, the chokeberry, Aronia arbutifolia, or the mountain ash, Sorbus americana.
  2. the plant itself.
  3. any of several plants, especially the dog rose, bearberry, and guelder rose.
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Origin of dogberry

First recorded in 1545–55; dog + berry


[dawg-ber-ee, -buh-ree, dog-]
noun, plural Dog·ber·rys for 2.
  1. a foolish constable in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.
  2. any foolish, blundering, or stupid official.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dogberry

Historical Examples

  • Here is an ignoramus, and Dogberry is placed on the judge's bench.

    The American Mind

    Bliss Perry

  • Like Dogberry, these things are to him but the gift of God; and he knows them at his birth.

    Nuts and Nutcrackers

    Charles James Lever

  • It is an important examination, and therefore, like Dogberry, we must spare no wisdom.


    Sir Walter Scott

  • It is just what the local Dogberry and the scratch jury happen to find.

  • I meant no comparisons; comparisons are odorous, saith Dogberry.

    To Have and To Hold

    Mary Johnston

British Dictionary definitions for dogberry


noun plural -ries
  1. any of certain plants that have berry-like fruits, such as the European dogwood or the bearberry
  2. the fruit of any of these plants
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noun plural -ries
  1. (sometimes capital) a foolish, meddling, and usually old official
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Derived Formsdogberryism, noun

Word Origin

after Dogberry, character in Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing (1598)
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