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[gawrs] /gɔrs/
any spiny shrub of the genus Ulex, of the legume family, native to the Old World, especially U. europaeus, having rudimentary leaves and yellow flowers and growing in waste places and sandy soil.
Also called furze; especially British, whin.
before 900; Middle English gorst, Old English; akin to German Gerste, Latin hordeum barley
Related forms
gorsy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gorse
  • Spring visitors find bluebells in bloom while in summer the park is clothed with pink heather and yellow gorse.
  • He paid it in a hurry, hitting his drive on the first playoff hole into a prickly gorse bush.
  • In old woods and on fern- and gorse-covered hilltops they do no harm whatever-Spectator.
  • Expect to find gorse along coastal areas and in forests on well-drained soils.
British Dictionary definitions for gorse


any evergreen shrub of the leguminous genus Ulex, esp the European species U. europeaus, which has yellow flowers and thick green spines instead of leaves Also called furze, whin
Derived Forms
gorsy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English gors; related to Old Irish garb rough, Latin horrēre to bristle, Old High German gersta barley, Greek khēr hedgehog
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 gorse

Old English gors "gorse, furze," from Proto-Germanic *gorst- (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German gersta, Middle Dutch gherste, Dutch gerst, German gerste "barley"), from PIE *ghers- "to bristle" (cf. Latin hordeum "barley;" see horror).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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