Definition of brier in US English:


(also briar)


  • 1A tobacco pipe made from nodules borne at ground level by a large woody plant of the heath family.

    • ‘The Centenier finished his coffee, while Holmes selected and filled his briar pipe.’
    • ‘Every man present had filled his clay or briar pipes with good Virginia tobacco.’
    • ‘The briar pipe continued to epitomise solid, dependable, common sense masculinity.’
    tobacco pipe, briar, briar pipe, meerschaum, clay pipe
    View synonyms
  • 2The white-flowered shrub of the heath family that bears these nodules, native chiefly to France and Corsica.

    Erica arborea, family Ericaceae


Mid 19th century: from French bruyère ‘heath, heather’, from medieval Latin brucus.