- 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).
- a shrub bearing this fruit.
Origin of gooseberry
Examples from the Web for gooseberry
You can also see the remains of the “gooseberry”—the artificial breakwater the Allies created off the beach.D-Day Historian Craig Symonds Talks About History’s Most Amazing Invasion
June 5, 2014
Then a cat shot from under a gooseberry bush, and she gave a little scream.The Manxman
Down the middle of the garden was a row of gooseberry and currant bushes.O Pioneers!
Preserved fruit was served with the fish, and gooseberry jam with the roast.A Royal Prisoner
“You are not to go into the gooseberry garden,” said the aunt, changing the subject.
She gave me a doughnut and a piece of cheese as well as a gooseberry tart.Rebecca's Promise
Frances R. Sterrett
- a Eurasian shrub, Ribes uva-crispa (or R. grossularia), having greenish, purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries: family GrossulariaceaeSee also currant (def. 2)
- the berry of this plant
- (as modifier)gooseberry jam
- British informal an unwanted single person in a group of couples, esp a third person with a couple (often in the phrase play gooseberry)
- Cape gooseberry a tropical American solanaceous plant, Physalis peruviana, naturalized in southern Africa, having yellow flowers and edible yellow berriesSee also ground cherry
Word Origin and History for gooseberry
1530s, perhaps from German Krausebeere or Kräuselbeere, related to Middle Dutch croesel "gooseberry," and to German kraus "crispy, curly" [Klein, etc.]. Under this theory, gooseberry would be folk etymology. But OED editors find no reason to prefer this to a literal reading, because "the grounds on which plants and fruits have received names associating them with animals are so commonly inexplicable, that the want of appropriateness in the meaning affords no sufficient ground for assuming that the word is an etymological corruption."