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

  • n. A Mediterranean shrub or small tree (Erica arborea) whose hard, woody roots are used to make tobacco pipes.
  • n. A pipe made from the root of this plant or from a similar wood.
  • n. Variant of brier1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any thorny plant, now especially a wild rose.
  • n. The white heath, Erica arborea.
  • n. A pipe made from the root of this plant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as brier.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • etc. See brier, briery, etc.

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

  • n. Eurasian rose with prickly stems and fragrant leaves and bright pink flowers followed by scarlet hips
  • n. a pipe made from the root (briarroot) of the tree heath
  • 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


French bruyère, heath, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *brūcāria, from Late Latin brūcus, heather, of Celtic origin; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English brær. (Wiktionary)
From French bruyère, assimilated with Etymology 1, above. (Wiktionary)



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  • "The next morning my ears, neck, shoulders and back looked as if I'd spent the night wrestling with thirty-three kittens in a briar patch crisscrossed with barbed wire during a hailstorm."
    - 'The Dice Man', Luke Rhinehart.

    February 4, 2008