Definition of bonsai
: a potted plant (such as a tree) dwarfed (as by pruning) and trained to an artistic shape; also : the art of growing such a plant
Recent Examples of bonsai from the Web
The thing came out looking like a bonsai tree covered in acid rain.
So instead of throwing your ex's bonsai tree out the window, maybe start by throwing yourself into new activities.
That vision is articulated by the character Chen Yanshi, a respected party elder who turns away exotic gifts that are sent to his home — 35 birds, 43 bouquets and 16 bonsai trees.
Choose from crafters peddling jewelry, art, glass, silk, pet accessories, candles, bonsai, iron work and driftwood sailboats from Art Sea.
Koi competition, education, auction, Koi dealers, artists and bonsai.
Started in 1974 by Tom Forcade, an underground journalist, drug smuggler and Yippie, the magazine was originally conceived as a parody of Playboy, but with lurid centerfolds of cannabis buds the size of bonsai trees instead of nude women.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bonsai'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
This is a living dwarf tree. The word bonsai can also refer to the art of training and growing these dwarf plants in containers. Bonsai specimens are ordinary trees and shrubs, not hereditary dwarfs; they are dwarfed by a system of pruning roots and branches and training branches by tying them with wire. The art originated in China, but has been pursued and developed primarily by the Japanese. The inspiration for bonsai is found in nature, in trees that grow in harsh, rocky places, and are dwarfed and gnarled throughout their existence. Bonsai may live for a century or more and can be handed down from one generation to another. Bonsai pots, usually earthenware and of variable shape, are carefully chosen to harmonize in color and proportion with the tree. A sizable bonsai industry exists as part of the nursery industry in Japan. California is home to a small-scale bonsai industry.
Origin and Etymology of bonsai
Japanese, literally, tray planting
First Known Use: 1898See Words from the same year
BONSAI Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bonsai for English Language Learners
: a very small tree or bush that is grown in a pot by using special methods to control its growth
: the art of growing bonsai
Seen and Heard
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