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[brahy-uh-nee] /ˈbraɪ ə ni/
noun, plural bryonies.
any Old World vine or climbing plant belonging to the genus Bryonia, of the gourd family, yielding acrid juice having emetic and purgative properties.
Also, briony.
before 1000; Middle English brionie, Old English bryōnia < Latin < Greek: a wild vine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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  • The royal navy have named two ships hms bryony, after the flower.
British Dictionary definitions for bryony


noun (pl) -nies
any of several herbaceous climbing plants of the cucurbitaceous genus Bryonia, of Europe and N Africa See also black bryony, white bryony
Word Origin
Old English bryōnia, from Latin, from Greek bruōnia
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for bryony

(genus Bryonia), any of about 12 species of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae). These plants are mostly herbs or long-tendriled climbing vines that are native to Eurasia. White bryony (B. cretica or B. dioica) has a thick, fleshy white root, large lobed leaves, pale yellow flowers arranged in clusters in the leaf axils, and small red berries. In North America, white bryony refers to B. alba, which differs from B. cretica in having male and female flowers on the same plant and in having black berries. B. cretica was formerly used as a cathartic and as a diuretic. The plant contains the poisonous alkaloid bryonin.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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