poison sumac

noun

: a swamp shrub (Toxicodendron vernix synonym Rhus vernix) chiefly of the eastern U.S. and Canada that has pinnate leaves, greenish flowers, and greenish white berries and produces an irritating oil

called also poison dogwood

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web For example, check out Boericke & Tafel’s Oral Ivy Liquid ($15 for a 1-ounce bottle on Amazon.com), a homeopathic product that is made from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Steven Salzberg, Forbes, 25 July 2022 This sap, which is also found in poison oak and poison sumac, is called urushiol and can cause a severe rash that lingers for weeks. Rachel Nall, Msn, SELF, 15 July 2022 While poison sumac is mostly found in the northeastern part of the state, the plant loves to live in swamps, bogs and wet areas. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 3 Aug. 2021 The oil in poison sumac makes all parts of the plant toxic, and creates symptoms such as itchiness, burning, redness and blistering. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 3 Aug. 2021 The three likeliest culprits for skin irritation or rashes from outside plants are: poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac. Madison Yauger, Health.com, 28 June 2021 The sap from a poison oak plant-along with poison ivy and poison sumac plants-is what triggers the allergic reaction, that typically shows up a few hours to a few days after exposure. Madison Yauger, Health.com, 28 June 2021 So, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac all cause irritation to the skin through a plant oil—technically called urushiol oil—found in the sap of these plants, according to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Maggie O'neill, Health.com, 14 May 2021 Calabrese points to populations of poison sumac in the Brecksville and Hinckley Reservations, though the plant is found only in bogs, all of which are well beyond the park district’s trail network. cleveland, 30 June 2020 See More

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

1737, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of poison sumac was in 1737

Dictionary Entries Near poison sumac

Cite this Entry

“Poison sumac.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison%20sumac. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

poison sumac

noun
: a swamp shrub related to poison ivy and causing a similar rash but having leaves with 7 to 13 leaflets

Medical Definition

poison sumac

noun
poison su·​mac -ˈs(h)ü-ˌmak How to pronounce poison sumac (audio)
: an American swamp shrub of the genus Rhus (R. vernix synonym Toxicodendron vernix) that has smooth pinnate leaves, greenish flowers, and greenish white berries and produces an irritating oil

called also poison dogwood

More from Merriam-Webster on poison sumac

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!