: any of a genus (Ulmus of the family Ulmaceae, the elm family) of usually large deciduous north temperate-zone trees with alternate stipulate leaves and fruit that is a samara
: the wood of an elm

Illustration of elm

Illustration of elm
  • elm 1

Examples of elm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the elms died, they were replaced with male trees that had been so popularized as litter-free. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 1 July 2024 The juried art show spreads out beneath the shady elms and features paintings, pottery, jewelry, metal works, home décor and plenty more. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 26 June 2024 Often, my father would go on about the wildlife in the park: the chestnut and elm trees around the perimeter, hyacinths, daffodils, rhododendrons. Nicolaia Rips, The New Yorker, 21 June 2024 Red and sugar maples, along with American beech, pines, oaks, poplars, and elms, are most likely to develop tree girdling due to roots. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for elm 

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

Word History


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German elme elm, Latin ulmus

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of elm was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near elm

Cite this Entry

“Elm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elm. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: any of a genus of large deciduous trees that have toothed leaves and nearly circular one-seeded winged fruits and are often grown as shade trees
especially : american elm
: the wood of an elm

More from Merriam-Webster on elm

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