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a widely distributed cereal plant belonging to the genus Hordeum, of the grass family, having awned flowers that grow in tightly bunched spikes, with three small additional spikes at each node.
the grain of this plant, used as food and in making beer, ale, and whiskey.
a truce or quarter, especially in children’s games; parley.
Contemporary Examples

Because stout beers are made by roasting malt or barley, certain types have clear hints of coffee, toffee, and chocolate.
5 Pioneering Ways to Cook with Beer Stacey Slate February 1, 2010

Mediterranean flavors paired with eggplant and barley make these lamb shanks perfect for winter.
Fresh Picks Anne Burrell December 28, 2009

I love using whole grains, so barley is a great choice here.
Fresh Picks Anne Burrell December 28, 2009

Rye, barley, and sometimes wheat can figure into the grain mixture, but corn has to claim the majority.
Hillbilly Heaven: The History of Small-Batch Bourbon Dane Huckelbridge March 28, 2014

When you think of what it takes to make your favorite spirit, ingredients like grapes, barley, or herbs probably come to mind.
How Much Do Whisky Casks Really Affect Taste? December 9, 2014

Historical Examples

The blade of the wheat-plant and barley is often four fingers in breadth.
Mesopotamian Archaeology Percy S. P. Handcock

The ground, embraced by the spurs, was filled with crops of maize and barley.
The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill

She is the widow of Manasses, who died of the heat in the barley harvest.
Judith Arnold Bennett

Brewers’ grains are the residue of barley malt and corn grits.
Government by the Brewers? Adolph Keitel

Then back home to supper, usually a boiled potato and piece of barley scone.
The Story of My Boyhood and Youth John Muir

any of various erect annual temperate grasses of the genus Hordeum, esp H. vulgare, that have short leaves and dense bristly flower spikes and are widely cultivated for grain and forage
the grain of any of these grasses, used in making beer and whisky and for soups, puddings, etc See also pearl barley
sentence substitute
(dialect) a cry for truce or respite from the rules of a game

Old English bærlic, originally an adjective, “of barley,” from bere “barley” (from Proto-Germanic *bariz, *baraz) + -lic “body, like.” First element is related to Old Norse barr “barley,” and cognate with Latin far (genitive farris) “coarse grain, meal;” probably from PIE *bhars- “bristle, point, projection” (see bristle (n.)).

a grain much cultivated in Egypt (Ex. 9:31) and in Palestine (Lev. 27:16; Deut. 8:8). It was usually the food of horses (1 Kings 4:28). Barley bread was used by the poorer people (Judg. 7:13; 2 Kings 4:42). Barley of the first crop was ready for the harvest by the time of the Passover, in the middle of April (Ruth 1:22; 2 Sam. 21:9). Mention is made of barley-meal (Num. 5:15). Our Lord fed five thousand with “five barley loaves and two small fishes” (John 6:9).


Read Also:

  • Barley sugar

    a brittle, amber-colored, transparent candy, formerly boiled in a decoction of barley, consisting of sugar, cream of tartar, and orange or lemon juice, usually twisted into strips or molded into a variety of shapes. Historical Examples Fine character deep-turning “barley sugar” pattern with only one gate. Chats on Cottage and Farmhouse Furniture Arthur Hayden An […]

  • Barley coal

    anthracite coal in sizes ranging from 3/32 to 3/16 inch (2.4 to 4.8 mm).

  • Barleycorn

    barley1 (def 1). a grain of barley. a unit of length equal to 1/3 inch (8.5 mm). Also, barley corn. a type of basket weave that produces an allover geometric pattern. John, John Barleycorn. Historical Examples Few of them bore the somatic signs of intimacy with Mr. barleycorn. Idling in Italy Joseph Collins “Thank you,” […]

  • Barley sack

    a burlap bag. Historical Examples And it would fill any one with admiration to see how he preserves his self-possession in the presence of a barley sack. The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

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