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

gorsy, adjective
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World English Dictionary
gorse (ɡɔːs)
furze, Also called: whin 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
[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 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. gors, from P.Gmc. *gurst- (cf. O.H.G. gersta, M.Du. gherste, Ger. gerste "barley"), from PIE *ghrzd- "roughness" (cf. L. hordeum "barley").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
Expect to find gorse along coastal areas and in forests on well-drained soils.
In old woods and on fern- and gorse-covered hilltops they do no harm whatever-Spectator.
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