Definition of barley in English:


Syllabification: bar·ley
Pronunciation: /ˈbärlē


  • 1A hardy cereal that has coarse bristles extending from the ears. It is widely cultivated, chiefly for use in brewing and stockfeed.
    • Genus Hordeum, family Gramineae
    More example sentences
    • He was listed among the first four pioneers in barley breeding and tested barleys of hybrid origin as early as 1904, but none attained release.
    • ‘Winter barleys are in the ground in time to take advantage of moisture from fall rains, winter snowpack, and early spring rainstorms,’ he explains.
    • With the first winter barleys cut at the weekend in the Vale of York, harvest has come with a rush and, strangely, this season we are ahead of many of our southern brethren.
  • 1.1The grain of the barley plant. See also pearl barley.
    More example sentences
    • We take our water and mix it with malted barley or grain to make a drink called whisky.
    • In Korea, while rice is the staple grain, barley is consumed in between the rice production seasons.
    • The staple food of Tibet, tsampa, is toasted barley ground to a flour.


Old English bærlic (adjective), from bære, bere 'barley' + -lic (see -ly1).

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