noun (plural gooseberries)
1A round edible yellowish-green or reddish berry with a thin translucent hairy skin.
- Apples, crab apples, gooseberries, and some plums and grapes usually contain enough natural pectin to form a gel.
- Outdoor-grown rhubarb is the only indigenous fruit till the gooseberries and very early strawberries show their faces next month.
- ‘Josta’ berry takes the looks of a gooseberry, removes the thorns, and makes it sweeter.
2The thorny European shrub which bears gooseberries.
- Ribes grossularia, family Grossulariaceae
- Every time my gooseberry bush starts to bear fruit, it develops a fungus.
- There were figs, walnuts, mulberries, apples, pears, damsons, gooseberries, elderberries, raspberries - and chickens, which we had inherited from the previous owners.
- To the rear of Old Hall is a large walled garden that has lawns and a variety of plants and shrubs, as well as strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, plum and apple trees.
3British informal A third person in the company of two people, especially lovers, who would prefer to be alone: they didn’t want me playing gooseberry on their first date
From gooseberry-picker, referring to an activity used as a pretext for the lovers to be together
More example sentences
- I was playing gooseberry at Sunday lunch in Dunbrody House, Wexford.
- I stayed for the next two days, but seeing Beth and Steve together made me feel a bit of a gooseberry.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: goose|berry
Definition of gooseberry in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.