American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See gorse.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The common name for the Ulex Europæus, a low, much-branched, and spiny leguminous shrub, with yellow flowers It is abundant in barren, heathy districts throughout the west of Europe, and sometimes covers large areas. It is used for fuel, and the young shoots for fodder, and is also cultivated for ornament, especially a double-flowered variety and a more slender and less rigid form known as Irish furze. The dwarf or tame furze is a much smaller species, U. nanus. Also called
- n. A frizz.
- To become entangled, as silk fibers during the reeling from the cocoon.
- n. A thorny evergreen shrub (Ulex europaeus), with beautiful yellow flowers, very common upon the plains and hills of Great Britain.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A thorny evergreen shrub (Ulex Europæus), with beautiful yellow flowers, very common upon the plains and hills of Great Britain; -- called also
gorse, and whin. The dwarf furze is Ulex nanus.
- n. very spiny and dense evergreen shrub with fragrant golden-yellow flowers; common throughout western Europe
- Middle English furse, from Old English fyrs. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This scrub Ashmead-Bartlett calls furze in his articles, but I have never seen furze in Gallipoli.”
“The furze is a member of the family _Leguminosæ_, which includes so many useful plants, such as, for example, the pea, the bean, and the clovers.”
“Cork -- the most zealous and successful advocate for the cultivation of this plant -- informed me that he had obtained so much as 14 tons per acre; a fact which proves that the furze is a plant which is well deserving of the attention of the farmer.”
“They are popularly supposed to come from the furze, which is also believed to shelter adders.”
“The brake fern is dead and withered; the tip of each frond curled over downwards by the frost, but it forms a brown background to the dull green furze which is alight here and there with scattered blossom, by contrast so brilliantly yellow as to seem like flame.”
“They are lined with a soft silky cotton fibre; and composed, externally, of a woolly kind of furze, bound together with which appears also to be spider's web.”
“M. Naudin states, that a certain kind of furze or thistle, of which cattle are very fond, may be made to grow without thorns -- an important consideration, seeing that at present, before it can be used as food, it has to undergo a laborious beating, to crush and break the prickles with which it is covered.”
“To protect themselves from predation they like rough land such as heathland, and coastal terrain with good cover, such as that provided by furze (gorse) and other dense shrubbery.”
“Yet here among the ancient family heirlooms and Douglas legends, thick as furze, the sense of patient waiting seemed almost tangible.”
“And because it lives in a furze bush a few hundred metres away, and it seems quite content there.”
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