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holly

[hol-ee] /ˈhɒl i/
noun, plural hollies.
1.
any of numerous trees or shrubs of the genus Ilex, as I. opaca (American holly) the state tree of Delaware, or I. aquifolium (English holly) having glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries.
2.
the foliage and berries, used for decoration, especially during the Christmas season.
Origin of holly
1150
before 1150; Middle English holi(e), holyn, Old English hole(g)n; cognate with Welsh celyn, Irish cuillean; akin to Dutch, German hulst, French houx (< Old High German hulis)

Holly

[hol-ee] /ˈhɒl i/
noun
1.
Buddy (Charles Hardin Holley) 1936–59, U.S. rock and roll singer and guitarist.
2.
a female or male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for holly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The dark walls were quite covered with holly and ivy, mixed with the blossoms of laurustinus and some bright flowers.

  • Until to-morrow night, then, blinded and bewildered with holly and cedar let me be!

    Bride of the Mistletoe James Lane Allen
  • In various out-of-the-way places were stored bunches of holly and cedar and laurel.

    'As Gold in the Furnace' John E. Copus
  • There was a thicket of holly and underwood, as dense as a jungle, close about the door.

    The Room in the Dragon Volant J. Sheridan LeFanu
  • But the Fairview players, by amazing good play, managed to get through, and holly was downed after a run back of twenty yards.

    A Quarter-Back's Pluck Lester Chadwick
British Dictionary definitions for holly

holly

/ˈhɒlɪ/
noun (pl) -lies
1.
any tree or shrub of the genus Ilex, such as the Eurasian I. aquifolium, having bright red berries and shiny evergreen leaves with prickly edges
2.
branches of any of these trees, used for Christmas decorations
3.
holly oak, another name for holm oak
See also sea holly
Word Origin
Old English holegn; related to Old Norse hulfr, Old High German hulis, German Hulst, Old Slavonic kolja prick

Holly

/ˈhɒlɪ/
noun
1.
Buddy. real name Charles Harden Holley. 1936–59, US rock-and-roll singer, guitarist, and songwriter. His hits (all 1956–59) include "That'll be the Day", "Maybe Baby", "Peggy Sue", "Oh, Boy", "Think It Over", and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore"
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 holly
n.

mid-15c., earlier holin (mid-12c.), shortening of Old English holegn "holly," from Proto-Germanic *hulin- (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German hulis, Old Norse hulfr, Middle Dutch huls, Dutch, German hulst "holly"), cognate with Middle Irish cuilenn, Welsh celyn, Gaelic cuilionn "holly," probably all from PIE root *kel- "to prick" (cf. Old Church Slavonic kolja "to prick," Russian kolos "ear of corn"), in reference to its leaves. French houx "holly" is from Frankish *huls or some other Germanic source.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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