goose-berry

gooseberry

[goos-ber-ee, -buh-ree, gooz-]
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:
1525–35; goose + berry

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gooseberry (ˈɡʊzbərɪ, -brɪ)
 
n , pl -ries
1.  See also currant a Eurasian shrub, Ribes uva-crispa (or R. grossularia), having greenish, purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries: family Grossulariaceae
2.  a.  the berry of this plant
 b.  (as modifier): gooseberry jam
3.  informal (Brit) 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 See also ground cherry a tropical American solanaceous plant, Physalis peruviana, naturalized in southern Africa, having yellow flowers and edible yellow berries

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

gooseberry
c.1532, perhaps from Ger. Krausebeere or Kräuselbeere, related to M.Du. croesel "gooseberry," and to Ger. kraus "crispy, curly." 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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