Definition of gorse in US English:



  • A yellow-flowered shrub of the pea family, the leaves of which are modified to form spines, native to western Europe and North Africa.

    Genus Ulex, family Leguminosae: several species, in particular the very spiny U. europaeus, which was introduced to North America

    ‘sheep graze on undulating green hills blooming with yellow gorse’
    as modifier ‘on the 11th hole his drive ended up in a gorse bush’
    • ‘The choice of elm, gorse and mimosa reflects these extremes and reinforces the vegetation already present.’
    • ‘It's a shared space and has heathers, ferns, gorse and many wild flowers (not at this time of year) growing on it.’
    • ‘The next morning was spent fishing quickly down the stunning River Corran through heather and gorse, the Paps in the background and the sea to the east.’
    • ‘Like adventurers, we followed him up and up through the bracken, heather and gorse, thrashing the undergrowth aside with sticks.’
    • ‘Small, subtly contoured greens lined with gorse and heather tumble beneath vast sandy hills.’
    • ‘There was a little colour in the yellow gorse and the silver birch.’
    • ‘It's 159 yards from tee to green, but the real problem is that not only is the green surrounded by gorse and heather, but that the whole dip from tee to green is also deep, deep rough.’
    • ‘There's more moorland and open heath here than woodland, more gorse and heather than noble oak.’
    • ‘Later however, the men of the parish got together and cleared gorse and heather from the present festival field at Gurteen and sowed grass seed.’
    • ‘The smell of fresh turf, blooming heather and the nearby gorse or whins are never forgotten once experienced.’
    • ‘Vegetation such as gorse, heather and white grass is considered to be high fire risk while grassland is low risk.’
    • ‘No matter, because a new fingerpost points down Potter Lane, a sunken track, wall and gorse each side with foxgloves ready to overwinter in the algae green rocks.’
    • ‘There was a thick border of heather and gorse between the rocky paths and the sea, and the band stopped here.’
    • ‘The designers intend recreating not only the holes but the unique flora and fauna, such as gorse, heather and different types of grass, that make them so special.’
    • ‘The majority of the land was covered in gorse and tea tree, and 50 percent of it was non-productive.’
    • ‘I had to cut a track through hedgerows, manuka and gorse - you name it.’
    • ‘A mosaic of heather, grass patches and burned-off gorse in the Ladder Hills creates a fashionable camouflage effect.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, dozens of residents had to be evacuated in Gwent, Wales, where hundreds of mature trees, bracken, gorse and shrubs were destroyed.’
    • ‘Thousands of saplings were planted and native gorse was established to create wildlife habitats.’
    • ‘Glaisdale Low Moor was to our south, painted in subtle spring shades with the occasional gorse in full flower burning bush mode.’


Old English gors, gorst, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘rough, prickly’, shared by German Gerste and Latin hordeum ‘barley’.