Definition of berry in US English:



  • 1A small roundish juicy fruit without a stone.

    ‘juniper berries’
    • ‘Mix the peaches and berries with the caster sugar in a buttered one-litre pie dish.’
    • ‘Game birds and waxwings eat the berries of cedars and junipers.’
    • ‘Add the remaining butter olives, caper berries, and parsley and mix to combine.’
    • ‘Whether you are fortunate enough to have a garden bursting with ripening soft fruits, berries and currants, or whether you buy them at the shops, this is the time to indulge.’
    • ‘Spoon over reserved fruit juice. Garnish with berries and a sprig of mint.’
    • ‘It has a freshly scented bouquet of pared Granny Smith apples, pears and ripe berries.’
    • ‘The primary flavoring agent, the one used by all producers is the juniper berry.’
    • ‘The grapes are picked and deposited into small bins so none of the fruit - even the berries on the bottom - gets crushed.’
    • ‘The dark purple berries, fruit of the blackthorn, are best after the first frosts because they break down more easily.’
    • ‘Good dietary sources are citrus fruits, berries, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes, as well as supplements.’
    • ‘Add almost all of the remaining berries and strain the fruit, keeping all the juices.’
    • ‘Using a mortar and pestle, mix the berries with the muscovado sugar and lime juice, crush roughly and leave to marinade with the purple basil leaves.’
    • ‘Add the black peppercorns, juniper berries, thyme, rosemary, sage, lovage, and bay leaf.’
    • ‘Freezing berries and slices of strawberries and pineapple in ice cubes before dropping into glasses of good, ordinary white and red wines is another hot-day treat.’
    • ‘Once firm, top with sweetened berries and aged balsamic vinegar, or lots of shavings of chocolate.’
    • ‘Sweet sabayon is often used to accompany fresh berries or stone fruit.’
    • ‘For breakfast I am to have muesli, yogurt and berries, which are all quite delicious.’
    • ‘Libran foods and plants include many fruits - strawberry, peach, apple, autumn berries.’
    • ‘I have a friend that makes the most wonderful gooseberry ice-cream, using fresh berries and Greek yoghurt.’
    • ‘Sloe gin is flavored with sloe berries instead of juniper, the flavoring in regular gin.’
    1. 1.1Botany Any fruit that has its seeds enclosed in a fleshy pulp, for example a banana or tomato.
      • ‘They are present in grape berries and leaves where they occur mainly under glycoconjugated forms.’
      • ‘Drupes and berries, the classic fleshy fruits, first appeared in the late Cretaceous or early Tertiary.’
      • ‘The larvae hatch and grow in the fruit, destroying the berry.’
      • ‘For the number of flowers, berries and seeds per fruit, ten inflorescences were used, each inflorescence sampling from a different vine or cutting.’
      • ‘A varied composition provides continuity of food supply for birds and small mammals, with seeds, fruits and berries ripening at different times.’
      vine fruit
      View synonyms
  • 2Any of various kernels or seeds, such as the coffee bean.

    • ‘These fussy foragers pick the best and ripest coffee berries.’
    • ‘Roast the corn berries over a smokeless fire in a corn-popper; keep shaking until every berry has burst.’
    • ‘Wheat berries are the mother grain from which pasta, bread, and flour are derived.’
    • ‘To serve, place a portion of the wheat berry salad over some of the baby spinach.’
    • ‘If you take a cooked grain of brown rice, wheat berry, kernel of corn, potato, or bean you can separate the tough exterior from the creamy interior.’
    • ‘The scientists selected coffee fields for the test site because medflies love coffee berries.’
    • ‘Before coffee was ever roasted and brewed, the berries were fermented in water, creating a wine.’
    • ‘The tiny borer spends its entire larval life inside the coffee berry, which encases the seed, commonly known as the coffee bean.’
    • ‘Red coffee berries are plucked from the tree and roasted on a griddle.’
    • ‘The coffee is then pulped to remove the berry kernels and then the beans are dried.’
    • ‘Wheat berries contain the whole grain -- endosperm, bran and germ -- and that's what makes them so healthful.’
    • ‘As we meandered through the mountains north of San Jose, we passed through endless coffee plantations, the rows of dark plants heavy with berries.’
    • ‘Curious, he followed them the next day and observed them eating the leaves and berries of the coffee tree.’
    • ‘The idea is to make the fungus thrive in the plant so that the coffee berry borer can become exposed to it.’
    • ‘The parrots were released, and have thrived ever since -- happily munching down on the berry kernels of the cedar trees which line our streets.’
  • 3A fish egg or the roe of a lobster or similar creature.


[no object]
  • Gather berries.

    ‘let's go berrying’
    • ‘She ate her meal, and then set off, pretending to go berrying.’
    • ‘After tea we went berrying.’
    • ‘The next afternoon he went berrying with a little boy who lived next door.’
    • ‘When they could be spared from household duties the two girls went berrying with their brothers and Philip, or to the hayfield to lend a welcome hand.’
    • ‘He rode about with Uncle Frank in the grocery wagon, he tended store, he fished, and went berrying.’


Old English berie, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bes and German Beere.