1. A mat-forming, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium macrocarpon) in the heath family, native to eastern North America and widely cultivated for its tart, red, edible berries.
2. The berries of this plant, used in sauces, jellies, relishes, and beverages.
3. Any of several other plants in the genus Vaccinium having red berries, especially V. oxycoccos.
[Partial translation of Low German Kraansbere, Kraanbere, any of several European cranberry species, literally “crane-berry” (probably from the resemblance of the flower of the European species Vaccinium oxycoccos to the head and neck of a crane) : Kraan, crane (from Middle Low German kran; see gerə-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + bere, berry.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.