Definition of buckthorn in English:



  • A shrub or small tree which typically bears thorns and black berries. Some kinds yield dyes and others have been used medicinally.

    • ‘We do not recommend strong laxatives such as senna or buckthorn for you.’
    • ‘These herbal teas typically include senna, aloe, buckthorn and other plant-derived laxatives.’
    • ‘Minqin also planted ramparts of rose willow, buckthorn and other deep-root trees in a 200-mile file along the desert fronts.’
    • ‘It requires two species of host plant to complete its life cycle: common buckthorn and soybean.’
    • ‘The jujube (pronounced juh-ju-bee or juh-juh-bee) is a member of the buckthorn family, or Rhamnaceae.’


Late 16th century: from buck in the sense ‘deer’ + thorn, translating modern Latin spina cervina.