sap·ling | \ˈsa-pliŋ, -plən\

Definition of sapling 

1 : a young tree specifically : one not over four inches (about 10 centimeters) in diameter at breast height

Examples of sapling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Now those forests are mostly green, with the crowns of red spruce peeking out of the canopy and saplings thriving below. Lisa Rathke, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pollution regulations decrease acid rain, spur red spruce rebound," 11 July 2018 Giant hogweed doesn't grow 14 feet overnight; the seedlings and saplings start out much smaller. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 411 on Giant Hogweed, the Invasive Plant That Can Cause Severe Burns," 21 June 2018 Well, the sessile oak sapling—from Belleau, the French site of a World War I battle—is no longer on the White House lawn. David Meyer, Fortune, "Why the Tree Emmanuel Macron Gifted to Trump Disappeared From the White House Lawn," 30 Apr. 2018 Five men in chartreuse shirts descend with shovels, dig five holes in the brown clay and muscle 10-foot-tall overcup oak saplings into them. Gabriel Popkin, Washington Post, "D.C. says its tree canopy is growing. Federal researchers disagree.," 10 June 2018 On a spring visit to Washington, French President Emmanuel Macron brought a sapling from Belleau Wood to the White House for a replanting ceremony with President Trump. Raf Casert,, "1918 battle was turning point for US forces in World War I," 26 May 2018 Educational programs are also crucial to better prepare for climate change, said Barquero in Hone Creek village, where hundreds of saplings grow in the non-profit's plant nursery. Sophie Hares, The Christian Science Monitor, "Costa Rica's coast struggles to survive against rising seas," 25 May 2018 The result was the loss of all the saplings and the end of the dream of living in beautiful Nordhoff. Benjamin Oreskes,, "Essential California: Zuckerberg's apology tour," 10 Apr. 2018 Tucked into the riot of color is a slender black-and-white sapling, its life gone already. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Galactic Adventures," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sapling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sapling

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for sapling

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for sapling

The first known use of sapling was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of sapling

: a young tree


sap·ling | \ˈsa-pliŋ \

Kids Definition of sapling

: a young tree

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Comments on sapling

What made you want to look up sapling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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