Definition of sloe in English:



  • 1

    another term for blackthorn
    • ‘However there is a sharp, short, climb for starters and woods with dusky sloes.’
    • ‘Here the hedges are best, not trimmed in brutal tidiness but rampant with hip-laden roses and garlanded by vivid bryony berries; and sprouting pithy wands of elder, strong grey spears of ash and angular spikes of black berried sloes.’
    • ‘The leaves of tea are mingled with sloe leaves and other abominations.’
    • ‘Other members of the genus include the apricot, peach, sloe, and cherry.’
    • ‘It connected us with a fruity hedge with brambles, rosehips, sloes, and a hundred yards of elders weighed down with berries.’
    • ‘The hedges were as yet uncut and were fizzing with little birds, notably bright yellowhammers, and sloes dressed with a dark bloom hung enormous like grapes.’
    • ‘And by late September, despite Dan's very rudimentary knowledge of tree taxonomy, he could clearly distinguish elders, hazels and sloes not to mention mountain ash and wild plums.’
    • ‘I finished down an arched spine of a ridge, village in view, and sloe tree scrub and birch, menacing fly agaric funghi, and a flashing flock of goldcrests.’
    • ‘Along the way you pass little old quarries, thickets and deep sloe hedges, and you might just catch the sound of gunfire.’
    • ‘And there are some hedges left, and the one we followed for the first mile had a good mix of native species, thorn, elder, holly, hazel, wild rose, gooseberry, sloe and horse chestnut.’
    1. 1.1The small bluish-black fruit of the blackthorn, with a sharp sour taste.
      • ‘Crab apples were used as were sloes, rose hips and rowan berries.’
      • ‘Sloe gin is flavored with sloe berries instead of juniper, the flavoring in regular gin.’
      • ‘The hedgerows are rich with fruit, elderberries, blackberries, sloes, hips and damsons.’
      • ‘Last year the business sold 12,000 bottles of sloe gin and 20,000 boxes of sloe liqueur chocolates.’
      • ‘Hedgerows are dripping with fat juicy sloes, the like of which you'll never find in chillier Scotland.’
      • ‘Many fruits were eaten and seeds from excavations tell us that they also had small apples (crab apples) plums, cherries and sloes.’
      • ‘Felt very country-girl, particularly when we stumbled across some sloes and decided to pick them too to make sloe gin.’
      • ‘With aromas of berry fruit, it is a richly textured, pot-pourri of cassis, sloes, eucalyptus and smoky oak.’
      • ‘Boil up the fruit, adding one part of tart apples to two of sloes.’
      • ‘However, there appear to be lots of hips on the dog-rose, haws on the whitethorn and sloes on the blackthorn.’
      • ‘Unfortunately a field of sunflowers were over, but we had the fruits of autumn, sloe, elderberry and powerfully scented crab apple.’
      • ‘Good for the birds, and the sloes good for gin, after a frost.’
      • ‘Wild fruit jellies, such as elderberry, rowanberry, sloe or crab apple, also make a great accompaniment.’
      • ‘Here is the recipe I brought home: put half a kilo of sloes in a bottle, add half a kilo of sugar and top up with gin.’
      • ‘The bushes ended up covered with sloes; we picked them, of course, bringing back memories of a Christmas tipple we made long ago: sloe gin.’
      • ‘They are called sloes and inside is a fertile seed protected inside a hard stone.’
      • ‘Fruit stones, apple pips - there were a lot of sloe stones, a fruit which would be very bitter to us.’
      • ‘We then realised that we had all the sloe fruit left from the gin-making process so decided to go in for chocolate making.’
      • ‘Made with sloes that the du Toits picked I drank their health as they embark on new adventures.’
      • ‘Add the pickled sloes to the cooking juices and warm through.’


Old English slā(h), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch slee and German Schlehe, from an Indo-European root probably shared by Latin livere be blue and Croatian šljiva plum; compare with slivovitz.