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[buhk-thawrn] /ˈbʌkˌθɔrn/
any of several, sometimes thorny trees or shrubs belonging to the genus Rhamnus, especially R. frangula, the bark of which is used in medicine.
a tree or shrub belonging to the genus Bumelia, of the sapodilla family, especially B. lycioides, a thorny tree having elliptic leaves and large clusters of white flowers, common in the southern and part of the central U.S.
Origin of buckthorn
1570-80; buck1 + thorn, rendering New Latin cervi spina Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for buckthorn
  • buckthorn seedlings appear vulnerable to fire, perhaps due to their poorly established root structure.
  • Common buckthorn readily invades natural communities.
  • buckthorn may also offer birds less in the way of a nesting structure.
  • Glossy buckthorn and other invasive shrubs are moving into this beautiful wet meadow.
British Dictionary definitions for buckthorn


any of several thorny small-flowered shrubs of the genus Rhamnus, esp the Eurasian species R. cathartica, whose berries were formerly used as a purgative: family Rhamnaceae See also sea buckthorn
Word Origin
C16: from buck1 (from the spiny branches, imagined as resembling antlers) + thorn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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