Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several prickly plants, such as certain rosebushes or the greenbrier.
  • n. Variant of briar1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A thorny Mediterranean shrub.
  • n. A pipe made from the roots of that shrub.
  • n. Any unpleasantry in general.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plant with a slender woody stem bearing stout prickles; especially, species of Rosa, Rubus, and Smilax.
  • n. Fig.: Anything sharp or unpleasant to the feelings.
  • n. the white heath Erica arborea.
  • n. a smoking pipe made of the root of the brier{1}.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A prickly plant or shrub in general; specifically, the sweetbrier or the green-brier (which see). Also spelled briar.

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

  • n. tangled mass of prickly plants
  • n. Eurasian rose with prickly stems and fragrant leaves and bright pink flowers followed by scarlet hips
  • n. evergreen treelike Mediterranean shrub having fragrant white flowers in large terminal panicles and hard woody roots used to make tobacco pipes
  • n. a very prickly woody vine of the eastern United States growing in tangled masses having tough round stems with shiny leathery leaves and small greenish flowers followed by clusters of inedible shiny black berries
  • n. a thorny stem or twig

Etymologies

Middle English brer, from Old English brēr.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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