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gooseberry

[goos-ber-ee, -buh-ree, gooz-] /ˈgusˌbɛr i, -bə ri, ˈguz-/
noun, plural gooseberries.
1.
the edible, acid, globular, sometimes spiny fruit of certain prickly shrubs belonging to the genus Ribes, of the saxifrage family, especially R. uva-crispa (or R. grossularia).
2.
a shrub bearing this fruit.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; goose + berry
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for goose berry

gooseberry

/ˈɡʊzbərɪ; -brɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
a Eurasian shrub, Ribes uva-crispa (or R. grossularia), having greenish, purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries: family Grossulariaceae See also currant (sense 2)
2.
  1. the berry of this plant
  2. (as modifier): gooseberry jam
3.
(Brit, informal) an unwanted single person in a group of couples, esp a third person with a couple (often in the phrase play gooseberry)
4.
Cape gooseberry, a tropical American solanaceous plant, Physalis peruviana, naturalized in southern Africa, having yellow flowers and edible yellow berries See also ground cherry
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 goose berry

gooseberry

n.

1530s, perhaps from German Krausebeere or Kräuselbeere, related to Middle Dutch croesel "gooseberry," and to German kraus "crispy, curly" [Klein, etc.]. Under this theory, gooseberry would be folk etymology. But OED editors find no reason to prefer this to a literal reading, because "the grounds on which plants and fruits have received names associating them with animals are so commonly inexplicable, that the want of appropriateness in the meaning affords no sufficient ground for assuming that the word is an etymological corruption."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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