a personification of barley as used in malt liquor, of malt liquor itself, or of any intoxicating liquor.
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Origin of John Barleycorn
First recorded in 1610–20
Words nearby John Barleycorn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for John Barleycorn
usually jocular the personification of alcohol, esp of malt spirits
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