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barleycorn

[bahr-lee-kawrn] /ˈbɑr liˌkɔrn/
noun
1.
2.
a grain of barley.
3.
a unit of length equal to 1/3 inch (8.5 mm).
4.
Also, barley corn. a type of basket weave that produces an allover geometric pattern.
Origin
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English. See barley1, corn1

Barleycorn

[bahr-lee-kawrn] /ˈbɑr liˌkɔrn/
noun
1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for barleycorn

barleycorn

/ˈbɑːlɪˌkɔːn/
noun
1.
a grain of barley, or barley itself
2.
an obsolete unit of length equal to one third of an inch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for barleycorn
n.

late 14c., from barley + corn (n.). Perhaps to distinguish the barley plant or the grain from its products. In Britain and U.S., the grain is used mainly to prepare liquor, hence personification as John Barleycorn (1620) in popular ballad, and many now-obsolete figures of speech, e.g. to wear a barley cap (16c.) "to be drunk."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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