Definition of bayberry in US English:


nounPlural bayberries

  • 1A North American shrub with aromatic leathery leaves and waxy berries.

    Genus Myrica, family Myricaceae: several species, in particular northern bayberry (M. pensylvanica) and black bayberry (M. heterophylla)

    See also wax myrtle
    • ‘Root cuttings are not often used as an important method of propagation, but many plants, such as bayberry, wisteria, some rose species, and oak-leaf hydrangea, can be propagated by this method.’
    • ‘Wild bayberry thrives in the sand with almost no maintenance, will grow in full sun or partial shade, is not harmed by salt spray and is drought-resistant.’
    • ‘Before fall migration, swallows gorge themselves on insects and bayberries.’
    • ‘Included in the brambles are raspberries, blackberries, dewberries, loganberries, bayberries, and the wineberry.’
    • ‘Samantha watched him go inside and shut it behind him; a flash of lightning illuminated the beach roses and the bayberry bushes, and the old overturned schooner in front of Ray's work shed.’
  • 2A tropical American shrub with aromatic leaves that are used in the preparation of bay rum.

    Pimenta racemosa, family Myrtaceae

    Also called bay rum tree
    • ‘Know of a willow hawthorn or evergreen bayberry near you?’
    • ‘Decorative arches are erected in the festival area and are covered with bundles of bayberry branches.’
    • ‘In the past, grass, bayberry, and other weeds had taken over most areas used by the nesting commons.’
    • ‘Needles that still look fresh should be removed from the tree and mixed with an equal amount of bayberry leaves, tiny pinecones and a preservative that absorbs scent.’
    • ‘The rolling hummocks wear a soft, wind-tossed mane of reeds, and here and there thickets of aspen, sumac and bayberry punctuate the scene.’


Late 17th century: from bay + berry.