giant sequoia


: an evergreen tree (Sequoiadendron giganteum) of the bald cypress family that grows on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and sometimes exceeds 270 feet (about 82 meters) in height

called also big tree, sequoia

see cone illustration

Examples of giant sequoia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What is special about Kings Canyon National Park? Like its neighbor, Kings Canyon is home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world, giant sequoias. Eve Chen, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2024 Sequoia and adjoining Kings Canyon National Park are best known as sanctuaries for towering giant sequoia trees. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2024 Devastating fires between 2020 and 2021 wiped out roughly 20% of all giant sequoias, which are only found in California. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2024 In a 1903 gelatin silver print, Roosevelt can be seen beneath a giant sequoia, nearly lost in the gargantuan tree’s striated trunk. Angelica Aboulhosn, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Nov. 2023 Unlike species such as giant sequoias and lodgepole pine that drop their seeds in fire, the dominant pines of the Sierra can’t reproduce if their seeds burn. Manzanita and mountain whitethorn — chaparral typical at lower elevations in California — take root in ashes and can dominate the forest. Brian Melley, Fortune, 26 Oct. 2023 Similar climatic trends may have pushed the giant sequoia westward from the continent’s interior. Moises Velasquez-Manoff, New York Times, 25 Oct. 2023 Intense wildfires ripping through the Sierra Nevada have destroyed thousands of giant sequoias in recent years. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 2023 Coast redwoods, which are related to giant sequoias, are generally taller—reaching up to 350 feet—though not as big around. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'giant sequoia.' 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

1860, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of giant sequoia was in 1860

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Cite this Entry

“Giant sequoia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

giant sequoia

: a California evergreen tree related to the bald cypresses and sometimes exceeding 270 feet (about 82 meters) in height

called also big tree, sequoia

More from Merriam-Webster on giant sequoia

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