(Science: botany) a valuable grain, of the family of grasses, genus Hordeum, used for food, and for making malt, from which are prepared beer, ale, and whisky.
(Science: zoology) barley bird, the siskin. Barley sugar, sugar boiled till it is brittle (formerly with a decoction of barley) and candied. Barley water, a decoction of barley, used in medicine, as a nutritive and demulcent.
Origin: oe. Barli, barlich, as. Baerlic; bere barley – lic (which is prob. The same as E. Like, adj, or perh. A form of as. Leac leek). As. Bere is akin to Icel, barr barley, goth. Barizeins made of barley, L. Far spelt; cf. W. Barlys barley, bara bread. 92. Cf. Farina, 6th bear.