chi·​na·​ber·​ry ˈchī-nə-ˌber-ē How to pronounce chinaberry (audio)
 Southern also  ˈchā-nē-ˌber-ē
: a small Asian tree (Melia azedarach) of the mahogany family naturalized in the southern U.S. where it is widely planted for shade or ornament

Examples of chinaberry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The calendar for 1850 showed that the Kiowas held their summer sun dance in a place with chinaberry thickets and that Kiowa men conducted a raid on a Mexican encampment in which a Kiowa man named Tangiapa (Buck) was killed. Kathleen Duval, WSJ, 16 Sep. 2022 But not every tree is created equal, and there are several not recommended for shade trees, including pecan, Arizona ash, American sycamore, hackberry, mulberry, Chinese tallow, chinaberry and Chinese pistachio. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 5 Nov. 2021 One of his earliest toy creations was building chinaberry guns with his friends using a mop and hollowed out bamboo tubing. Trisha Gopal and Beryl Shereshewsky, CNN, 15 Aug. 2020 Other than palms, the only trees were invasive eucalypti and chinaberries that looked dusty and sick. Seth Harp, Harper's Magazine, 27 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chinaberry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chinaberry was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near chinaberry

Cite this Entry

“Chinaberry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


chi·​na·​ber·​ry ˈchī-nə-ˌber-ē How to pronounce chinaberry (audio)
: a small Asian tree that is related to the mahoganies and that is planted in the southern U.S. for shade or ornament
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