Definition of barleycorn in English:



  • 1A grain of barley.

    • ‘I have recently bought a breadmaker, and so far, Doves Barleycorn Flour makes the best loaf I have ever tasted!’
    • ‘The weight of a barleycorn, later renamed the grain is the original basis of all English weight systems.’
    • ‘Human societies have used pebbles, nuts, barleycorn, bones, twigs, yarrow stalks, polished sticks, cards, coins, and dice the list goes on and on to make decisions that are transparently fair.’
    • ‘He led a goat dressed in homespun, one of last year's barleycorns tucked above its ear.’
    • ‘Here is a barleycorn of a different kind to those which grow in the farmer's fields, and which the chickens eat; put it into a flower-pot, and see what will happen.’
    1. 1.1 A former unit of measurement (about a third of an inch) based on the length of a grain of barley.
      • ‘In England and Scotland, at least as early as the 12th century an inch was thought of as 3 barleycorns laid end to end.’
      • ‘Each barleycorn was one third on an inch, which added up to 12 inches or one "foot."’
      • ‘Use the following calculator to convert between feet and barleycorns.’
      • ‘Firstly there are three Barleycorns (Bc) to the inch, not our present inch, but the old Northern inch, (1.1 present inches), i.e. 36 Bc. to 13.2 inches.’
      • ‘The longest normal foot measured 39 barleycorns, or 13 inches, and was called size 13.’