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Brier definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BRI'ER, n.
1. In a general sense, a prickly plant or shrub. Is.v.6. Judg
2. In a limited sense, the sweet-brier and the wild-brier, species of the rose.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: tangled mass of prickly plants [syn: brier, brierpatch, brier patch]
2: a thorny stem or twig
3: Eurasian rose with prickly stems and fragrant leaves and bright pink flowers followed by scarlet hips [syn: sweetbrier, sweetbriar, brier, briar, eglantine, Rosa eglanteria]
4: 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 [syn: bullbrier, greenbrier, catbrier, horse brier, horse-brier, brier, briar, Smilax rotundifolia]
5: evergreen treelike Mediterranean shrub having fragrant white flowers in large terminal panicles and hard woody roots used to make tobacco pipes [syn: tree heath, briar, brier, Erica arborea]

Merriam Webster's

variant of briar

Britannica Concise

Heath (Erica arborea), also called white heath or tree heath, found in S France and the Mediterranean region. Its roots and knotted stems are used for making briarwood tobacco pipes. Its leaves are needlelike and its flowers almost white. The term brier also applies generally to any plant (as of the genera Rosa, Rubus, and Smilax) with a woody and thorny or prickly stem.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

1. n. (also briar) any prickly bush esp. of a wild rose. Phrases and idioms: brier-rose dog-rose. sweet-brier a wild rose, Rosa eglanteria, with small fragrant leaves and flowers. Derivatives: briery adj. Etymology: OE brær, brer, of unkn. orig. 2. n. (also briar) 1 a white heath, Erica arborea, native to S. Europe. 2 a tobacco pipe made from its root. Etymology: 19th-c. bruyer f. F bruyère heath

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Brier Bri"er, Briar Bri"ar, n. [OE. brere, brer, AS. br[=e]r, br[ae]r; cf. Ir. briar prickle, thorn, brier, pin, Gael. preas bush, brier, W. prys, prysg.] 1. A plant with a slender woody stem bearing stout prickles; especially, species of Rosa, Rubus, and Smilax. 2. Fig.: Anything sharp or unpleasant to the feelings. The thorns and briers of reproof. --Cowper. Brier root, the root of the southern Smilax laurifolia and S. Walteri; -- used for tobacco pipes. Cat brier, Green brier, several species of Smilax (S. rotundifolia, etc.) Sweet brier (Rosa rubiginosa). See Sweetbrier. Yellow brier, the Rosa Eglantina.

Easton's Bible Dictionary

This word occurs frequently, and is the translation of several different terms. (1.) Micah 7:4, it denotes a species of thorn shrub used for hedges. In Prov. 15:19 the word is rendered "thorn" (Heb. _hedek_, "stinging"), supposed by some to be what is called the "apple of Sodom" (q.v.).

(2.) Ezek. 28:24, _sallon'_, properly a "prickle," such as is found on the shoots of the palm tree.

(3.) Isa. 55:13, probably simply a thorny bush. Some, following the Vulgate Version, regard it as the "nettle."

(4.) Isa. 5:6; 7:23-25, etc., frequently used to denote thorny shrubs in general. In 10:17; 27:4, it means troublesome men.

(5.) In Heb. 6:8 the Greek word (tribolos) so rendered means "three-pronged," and denotes the land caltrop, a low throny shrub resembling in its spikes the military "crow-foot." Comp. Matt. 7:16, "thistle."

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


See thORNS.

Moby Thesaurus

adherent, adhesive, barnacle, bramble, brier bush, bristle, bulldog, burr, bush, cactus, catchweed, cement, cleavers, decal, decalcomania, glue, goose grass, gunk, leech, limpet, molasses, mucilage, needle, nettle, paste, pine needle, plaster, prickle, quill, remora, scrub, shrub, shrubbery, spicule, spiculum, spike, spikelet, spine, sticker, syrup, thistle, thorn, yucca

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