any evergreen, coniferous shrub or tree of the genus Juniperus, especially J. communis, having cones that resemble dark-blue or blackish berries used in flavoring gin and in medicine as a diuretic.
a tree mentioned in the Old Testament, said to be the retem.

Origin of juniper

1350–1400; Middle English junipere < Latin jūniperus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for juniper

Contemporary Examples of juniper

Historical Examples of juniper

  • They were together in the shadow of a juniper where no man could have seen them.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • They were thickly wooded, for the most part with juniper and pine.

  • There's still enough left over to plant a juniper on my grave.

  • Juniper was very nearly flung off his feet, and was greatly frightened.

    Cab and Caboose

    Kirk Munroe

  • This is why the leaves of the spruce, the pine, and the juniper are always green.

    The Book of Nature Myths

    Florence Holbrook

British Dictionary definitions for juniper



any coniferous shrub or small tree of the genus Juniperus, of the N hemisphere, having purple berry-like cones. The cones of J. communis (common or dwarf juniper) are used as a flavouring in making ginSee also red cedar (def. 1)
any of various similar trees, grown mainly as ornamentals
Old Testament one of the trees used in the building of Solomon's temple (I Kings 6:15, 34) and for shipbuilding (Ezekiel 27:5)

Word Origin for juniper

C14: from Latin jūniperus, of obscure origin
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

Word Origin and History for juniper

"evergreen shrub," late 14c., from Latin iuniperus (source of French genièvre, Spanish enebro, Portuguese zimbro, Italian ginepro), of uncertain origin, perhaps related to iunco "reed." Watkins has it from PIE *yoini-paros "bearing juniper berries," from *yoi-ni- "juniper berry." Applied to various North American species from 1748. In the Bible, it renders Hebrew rethem, the name of a white-flowered shrub unrelated to the European evergreen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper