Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. common black-fruited shrub or small tree (Sambucus nigra) of Europe and Asia; -- the fruit is used for wines and jellies.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Scotch name of the elder-tree, Sambucus nigra.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a common shrub with black fruit or a small tree of Europe and Asia; fruit used for wines and jellies

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • A little behind went Connoway, in the same manner holding a "bourtree" pop-gun which he had just been fashioning for some lucky callant of his acquaintance.

    The Dew of Their Youth

  • At the byre end the old rowan-trees were creaking and groaning to the violence of the gale, the bourtree bushes were flattened near to the ground, and everywhere was white.

    The McBrides A Romance of Arran

  • We were told at the time, as a reason for this prohibition, that it was poisonous; but we discovered afterwards that there was another reason, viz., that it was unlucky to break off even a small twig from a bourtree bush.

    Folk Lore Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland within This Century

  • In some parts of Scotland, people would not put a piece of elder wood into the fire, and I have seen, not many years ago, pieces of this wood lying about unused, when the neighbourhood was in great straits for firewood; but none would use it, and when asked why? the answer was -- "We don't know, but folks say it is not lucky to burn the bourtree."

    Folk Lore Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland within This Century

  • The wind blew higher, and like a hurricane; the rain began to fall in perfect spouts; the auld kirk rumbled and rowed, and made a sad soughing; and the branches of the bourtree behind the house, where auld Cockburn that cut his throat was burned, creaked and crazed in a frightful manner; but as to the roaring of the troubled waters, and the bumming in the lum-head, they were past all power of description.

    The Life of Mansie Wauch tailor in Dalkeith

  • I was behind that bourtree bush at the very moment.

    Guy Mannering, Or, the Astrologer — Volume 02

  • ’ pursued his guide, ‘on this very spot the man fell from his horse—I was behind that bourtree-bush at the very moment.

    Chapter LIII

  • The wind blew higher, and like a hurricane; the rain began to fall in perfect spouts; the auld kirk rumbled and rowed, and made a sad soughing; and the branches of the bourtree behind the house, where auld Cockburn that cut his throat was buried creaked and crazed in a frightful manner; but as to the roaring of the troubled waters, and the bumming in the lum - head, they were past all power of description.

    The Life of Mansie Wauch Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself

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