[ goos-ber-ee, -buh-ree, gooz- ]

noun,plural goose·ber·ries.
  1. the edible, acid, globular, sometimes spiny fruit of certain prickly shrubs belonging to the genus Ribes, of the saxifrage family, especially R. uva-crispa (or R. grossularia).

  2. a shrub bearing this fruit.

Origin of gooseberry

First recorded in 1525–35; goose + berry

Words Nearby gooseberry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gooseberry in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gooseberry


/ (ˈɡʊzbərɪ, -brɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. a Eurasian shrub, Ribes uva-crispa (or R. grossularia), having greenish, purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries: family Grossulariaceae: See also currant (def. 2)

    • the berry of this plant

    • (as modifier): gooseberry jam

  1. British informal an unwanted single person in a group of couples, esp a third person with a couple (often in the phrase play gooseberry)

  2. Cape gooseberry a tropical American solanaceous plant, Physalis peruviana, naturalized in southern Africa, having yellow flowers and edible yellow berries: See also ground cherry

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