Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A thorny deciduous Eurasian shrub (Prunus spinosa) of the rose family, having white flowers and small bluish-black fruits.
  • noun The fruit of this plant, used chiefly for flavoring alcoholic beverages such as sloe gin.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The sloe, Prunus spinosa. See sloe.
  • noun A walking-stick made of the stem of this shrub.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A spreading thorny shrub or small tree (Prunus spinosa), with blackish bark, and bearing little black plums, which are called sloes; the sloe.
  • noun A species of Cratægus or hawthorn (Cratægus tomentosa). Both are used for hedges.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A large shrub or small tree, Prunus spinosa, that is native to Europe, western Asia, and north Africa. It has a dark bark and bears thorns.

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

  • noun a thorny Eurasian bush with plumlike fruits
  • noun erect and almost thornless American hawthorn with somewhat pear-shaped berries

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • But once the plant has flowered, the weather then turns cold, a period known as the "blackthorn winter".

    Weatherwatch: March's borrowing days

  • Linnaeus dubbed blackthorn Prunus spinosa because everything about it is prickly, tart, sour and generally stroppy.

    Wildwood

  • Linnaeus dubbed blackthorn Prunus spinosa because everything about it is prickly, tart, sour and generally stroppy.

    Wildwood

  • Even the aid of the "blackthorn" was occasionally invoked as an effective instrument for securing correction or impressing conviction.

    The Young Priest's Keepsake

  • I spared most of it, because blackthorn makes a magnificent show of snowy blossom when the cold north-east winds blow in late March, known as the blackthorn winter’.

    Wildwood

  • I spared most of it, because blackthorn makes a magnificent show of snowy blossom when the cold north-east winds blow in late March, known as the blackthorn winter’.

    Wildwood

  • There are still some fat, red berries among the hawthorns, though, and blackthorn bushes have their own blue-black berries known as sloes, which make delicious sloe gin.

    Plantwatch: Traveller's joy and old man's beard herald Father Christmas

  • A tangle of blackthorn grows in the sheltered "v" and the first scattering of white flowers star its dark uncompromising branches.

    Country diary: South Uist

  • He turned his arm toward her, pulling the torn cloth from the spot on his bicep that had borne the cut of the blackthorn hours earlier.

    Healing the Highlander

  • And it has been a fantastic year for fruits, with hawthorns, hollies and blackthorn producing terrific crops of berries.

    Plantwatch: Autumn arrives with brilliant colour and a bumper crop of berries

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