ailanthus

play
noun ai·lan·thus \ ā-ˈlan(t)-thəs \

Definition of ailanthus

:any of a small Asian genus (Ailanthus of the family Simaroubaceae, the ailanthus family) of chiefly tropical trees and shrubs with bitter bark, pinnate leaves, and terminal panicles of ill-scented greenish flowers; especially :tree of heaven

Origin and Etymology of ailanthus

New Latin, from Kamarian (Austronesian language of the Piru Bay region, Seram) ai lanito, literally, the sky tree, or from a cognate phrase in a related central Moluccan language


Medical Dictionary

ailanthus

play
noun ai·lan·thus \ ā-ˈlan(t)-thəs , ī- \

medical Definition of ailanthus

1 capitalized :a small genus of chiefly tropical Asian trees and shrubs (family Simaroubaceae) with bitter bark, pinnate leaves, and terminal panicles of ill-scented greenish flowers; especially :tree of heaven
2 :a tree of the genus Ailanthus

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ailanthus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!