brier

1 [brahy-er]
noun
1.
a prickly plant or shrub, especially the sweetbrier or a greenbrier.
2.
a tangled mass of prickly plants.
3.
a thorny stem or twig.
Also, briar.


Origin:
before 1000; Middle English brer, Old English brǣr, brēr; akin to bramble

briery, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged

brier

2 [brahy-er]
noun
1.
the white heath, Erica arborea, of France and Corsica, the woody root of which is used for making tobacco pipes.
2.
a pipe made of brierroot.
Also, briar.


Origin:
1865–70; earlier bruyer < French bruyère, Old French < Gallo-Latin *brūcāria field of heather, equivalent to *brūc- heather (< Gaulish, perhaps *broiko- (with early L change of oi > ū) < Celtic *wroiko- > Old Irish froech, Welsh grug) + Latin -āria -ary; compare early Medieval Latin brucus, brugaria; see -er2, -ar2

brier

3 [brahy-er]
noun Usually Disparaging.
(chiefly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) a rustic or hillbilly, especially one from Appalachia.

Origin:
shortening of brier hopper

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
brier or briar1 (ˈbraɪə)
 
n
any of various thorny shrubs or other plants, such as the sweetbrier and greenbrier
 
[Old English brēr, brǣr, of obscure origin]
 
briar or briar1
 
n
 
[Old English brēr, brǣr, of obscure origin]
 
'briery or briar1
 
adj
 
'briary or briar1
 
adj

brier2 (ˈbraɪə)
 
n
a variant spelling of briar

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

brier
"thorny shrub, heath," 1540s, variant of M.E. brere, from O.E. brer (Anglian), brær (W.Saxon) "brier, bramble, prickly bush," of unknown origin. Briar is the most recent variant (c.1600). Originally used of prickly, thorny bushes in general, now mostly restricted to wild rose bushes. Used figuratively
(in pl.) for "troubles" (c.1500).

brier
type of tobacco pipe introduced to England c.1859 made from the root of a certain shrub, 1868, from Fr. bruyère "heath plant," from O.Fr. bruiere "heather, briar, heathland, moor" (12c.), from Gallo-Romance *brucaria, from *brucus "heather," from Gaulish (cf. Breton brug "heath," O.Ir. froech).
Form altered in English by influence of brier (1).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Brier definition


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."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Her powers grew from year to year, and she became a big help in removing the editorial briers of my workaday world.
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