Definition of hackberry in English:



  • 1A tree of the elm family that has leaves resembling those of nettles, found in both tropical and temperate regions.

    See also nettle tree
    • ‘Some of the primary plants for butterfly larvae include: aspen, alfalfa, clover, nettle, pearly everlasting, milkweed, grasses, hackberry, parsley, vetch, and willow.’
    • ‘Also fairly common are bluejack oak, netleaf hackberry, honey mesquite, and prickly ash.’
    • ‘Walnut trees can also grow in small groups or as scattered specimens mixed with American elm, hackberry, boxelder, sugar maple, green and white ash, basswood, red oak, and hickory.’
    • ‘In addition to the oaks, the city lost wax myrtles, hackberries, weeping willows and magnolias.’
    • ‘He promotes the planting of trees indigenous to southern Ontario that provide large canopies such as the sugar maple, red oak, hackberry and black walnut.’
    1. 1.1The berry of the hackberry tree.
      • ‘While the inhabitants of the cave probably consumed hackberries and grapes as fruits, the remaining seed present are likely incidental.’
      • ‘Wild fruits such as hackberries and grapes supplemented the diet.’
      • ‘So when you eat the hackberries, wash them first.’
      • ‘The earliest inhabitants of the cave utilized the entrance chamber from autumn to winter, as evidenced by a reliance on the fall nut mast, such as hickory and walnut, and wild fruits such as hackberry.’
      • ‘In spring they also eat hackberries here, but this year the supply had been exhausted in early winter.’


Mid 18th century: variant of northern English dialect hagberry, of Scandinavian origin.