samara

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noun sa·ma·ra \ˈsa-mə-rə; sə-ˈma-rə, -ˈmär-ə\

Definition of samara

  1. :  a dry indehiscent usually one-seeded winged fruit (as of an ash or elm tree) —called also key

samara was our Word of the Day on 05/24/2011. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Not familiar with the term samara referring to the winged fruit of the elm, ash, maple, and sycamore, among other trees? Then how about "key," "whirlybird," "helicopter," "whirligig," or "spinning jenny"? Those nicknames are all excellent descriptors of a samara. A samara resembles a key and when it falls its unique shape enables it to spin like a helicopter's rotor and drift away from its tree. Botanists began using the term "samara" in the late 16th century. In Latin, it means literally "seed of the elm."

Illustration of samara

Origin and Etymology of samara

New Latin, from Latin, seed of the elm


First Known Use: 1577


Samara

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geographical name Sa·ma·ra \sə-ˈmär-ə\
variants: or 1935–91

Kuybyshev

play \ˈkwē-bə-ˌshef, ˈkü-ē-bə-, -ˌshev\

Definition of Samara

  1. city of eastern Russia in Europe in the valley of the Volga River population 1,165,000


SAMARA Defined for English Language Learners

Samara

play
geographical name Sa·ma·ra \sə-ˈmär-ə\

Definition of Samara for English Language Learners

  • : city in Russia


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