• (British) IPA: /ˈsləʊ/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈsloʊ/

sloe (plural sloes)

  1. The small, bitter, wild fruit of the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).
    • 1796, Zoonomia, or, the Laws of Organic Life, by Erasmus Darwin, part II.I.I.III
      There is also a dryness in the mouth from the increased action of the absorbent vessels, when a sloe or a crab-apple are masticated...
    • 1872, The Snow Queen by H. C. Andersen, translation by Paull:
      The dew-drops fell like water, leaf after leaf dropped from the trees, the sloe-thorn alone still bore fruit, but the sloes were sour, and set the teeth on edge. Oh, how dark and weary the whole world appeared!
    • 1900, Leo Tolstoy, “Twelve Years before”, in Louise Maude, transl., Resurrection: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, OCLC 231922665 ↗, book I, page 46 ↗:
      Katúsha, with her eyes black as sloes, her face radiant with joy, was flying towards him, and they caught hold of each other's hands.
  2. The tree Prunus spinosa.
  3. Any of various other plants of the genus Prunus, as a shrub or small tree, Prunus alleghaniensis, bearing dark-purple fruit.
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