Definition of barley in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A hardy cereal with coarse bristles extending from the ears, cultivated especially for use in brewing and stockfeed.

    • ‘Farmers switched to more productive crops, with a decline in the acreage of rye and a rise in wheat and barley.’
    • ‘Large amounts of maize, sugar beet and barley will fail unless there is a dramatic change in the weather.’
    • ‘The birds found little food on the refuge and quickly moved on to the nearby fields of barley and wheat.’
    • ‘The laighe was used extensively in Ireland to prepare land to grow oats, barley and potatoes.’
    • ‘With the first winter barleys cut at the weekend in the Vale of York, harvest has come with a rush and, strangely, this season we are ahead of many of our southern brethren.’
    • ‘Seeds of wheat and barley were also found, providing evidence of crop cultivation.’
    • ‘Villagers cultivate maize, wheat and barley on verdant hillside terraces buttressed by stone escarpments.’
    • ‘Now the main income is generated by a simplified system of wheat, barley, oilseed rape and sugar beet.’
    • ‘Wild crops such as wheat and barley began to be cultivated, and wild animals such as sheep and goats were tamed and then domesticated.’
    • ‘Mr Meikle farms 130 hectares devoted to sugar beet, salad onions, dwarf beans, barley and wheat.’
    • ‘There are some crops not cut, a lot of barley, some oats and one of two pieces of wheat are still out.’
    • ‘For example, wolves were bred into dogs, and wild grasses were bred into wheat, rye, oats and barley.’
    • ‘The inhabitants practised mixed farming, raising cattle and pigs and cultivating wheat and barley.’
    • ‘He was listed among the first four pioneers in barley breeding and tested barleys of hybrid origin as early as 1904, but none attained release.’
    • ‘Villagers engage in animal husbandry and cultivate wheat, barley, and sugar beets.’
    • ‘He said yields and quality for the major cereal crops of winter wheat and spring barley are above expectation.’
    • ‘‘Winter barleys are in the ground in time to take advantage of moisture from fall rains, winter snowpack, and early spring rainstorms,’ he explains.’
    • ‘Farmers may be forced to change from barley and wheat to maize as warming continues.’
    • ‘Food was seen as a sun-product, of which the cereals wheat and barley were the sacred, life-giving staples.’
    • ‘Domesticates included herded sheep and goats together with hulled barley, and emmer and einkorn wheat.’
    1. 1.1The grain of barley.
      • ‘Roasty aromas come from roasted grains, such as the unmalted barley used in an Irish stout.’
      • ‘I asked Sidroc what it was and he said it was made from oats mixed with barley.’
      • ‘We take our water and mix it with malted barley or grain to make a drink called whisky.’
      • ‘In 1364 a more diversified cargo of wheat, barley, beans, peas and ale was sent to Holland.’
      • ‘The staple food of Tibet, tsampa, is toasted barley ground to a flour.’
      • ‘Beer is produced by fermenting water in which malted barley has been steeped.’
      • ‘All real ales are brewed from malted barley, hops, yeast and water although other ingredients can be used as well.’
      • ‘In Korea, while rice is the staple grain, barley is consumed in between the rice production seasons.’
      • ‘High producing dairy herds are feeding equal parts maize meal, barley and wheat.’
      • ‘Gaettok is a pie-shaped cake made of the hulls of grain, such as rice, barley and millet.’
      • ‘However, over the total tract, digestibility was substantially greater for each component and not different among hull-less barleys and wheat.’
      • ‘Called Summer Ale, it is brewed from specially malted barley and Continental Styrian Golding hops.’
      • ‘You can all brewed hops and barley and malt beer, but they certainly don't taste or look the same.’
      • ‘Beer can range from light ales to dark stouts depending on the proportions of malt and barley.’
      • ‘It is made from a mash of malted and un-malted barley with some wheat, rye and oats.’
      • ‘The actual grains of barley floated level with the brim, and reeds of various lengths but without nodes were in the bowls.’
      • ‘I am now unable to eat anything that contains wheat, rye, barley, or oats.’
      • ‘Put the oil in a large, heavy saucepan with the onion, leek, garlic and barley.’
      • ‘One can substitute or mix different grains such as barley for arthritis and cancer.’
      • ‘Feedlot cattle eagerly trot to the bunk to chow down on a ration made with wheat or barley instead of corn.’


Old English bærlic (adjective), from bære, bere ‘barley’ + -lic (see -ly).