The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single flower and containing one ovary. Grapes and bananas are two common examples. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels. The seeds are usually embedded in the fleshy interior of the ovary, but there are some non-fleshy exceptions, such as peppers, that have air rather than pulp around their seeds.
A plant that bears berries is said to be bacciferous or baccate (a fruit that resembles a berry, whether it actually is a berry or not, can also be called "baccate").
In everyday English, "berry" is a term for any small edible fruit. These "berries" are usually juicy, round, brightly coloured, sweet or sour, and do not have a stone or pit, although many seeds may be present.
Many berries, such as the tomato, are edible, but others in the same family, such as the fruits of the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) are poisonous to humans.
By Dean Hanley