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

  • n. The small, edible, purplish-black fruit of the common American elder (Sambucus canadensis), sometimes used to make wine or preserves.
  • n. A shrub or tree that bears elderberries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. elder; a shrub or tree of the genus Sambucus
  • n. the small, edible, purplish-black fruit of this plant used in cooking and to flavour drinks etc

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The berrylike drupe of the elder. That of the Old World elder (Sambucus nigra) and that of the American sweet elder (S. Canadensis) are sweetish acid, and are eaten as a berry or made into wines or jellies.
  • n. the European variety of elder (see 3rd elder), a common black-fruited shrub or small tree of Europe and Asia; the fruit is used for wines and jellies.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The purplish-black drupaceous fruit of the elder, Sambucus nigra and S. Canadensis, having an acidulous and sweetish taste, and used for making a kind of wine. The inspissated juice is employed as an aperient and a diuretic.

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

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


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • After kayaking today I picked a few pounds of elderberries. The juice extractor reduced these to 2.5 quarts of pure mountain goodness. Tomorrow I'll make a little pancake syrup and some jelly.

    August 30, 2011

  • "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"

    - Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    February 23, 2008