sap·​ling | \ ˈsa-pliŋ How to pronounce sapling (audio) , -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 In the Golden Book of Italian Nobility, the Torlonia family tree is still a sapling. Ingrid D. Rowland, The New York Review of Books, "Light in the Palazzo," 27 Apr. 2021 The first sapling planted on Saturday morning was a gray dogwood species. Karie Angell Luc,, "Volunteers work to restore land around Canal Shores Golf Course with native plants," 20 Apr. 2021 Before it was cut down this week, one tree had lived for more than 230 years: As CNN notes, the oak was just a sapling during the French Revolution. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hundreds of Centuries-Old Trees Felled to Rebuild Notre-Dame’s Iconic Spire," 12 Apr. 2021 And a tree that is 70 to 100 years old could really be considered a sapling, Carré said. oregonlive, "Someone used herbicide to try to hurt a giant sequoia tree in Northeast Portland, but why?," 28 Mar. 2021 When the group of men tried to burn down the house, about fifteen years ago, fire and fuel spilled off the patio, and flames climbed up the tree, which was only a sapling at the time. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Murder in Malta," 14 Dec. 2020 For those kids who live in an apartment or don’t have access to a yard, each elementary school is reserving a spot to plant a sapling in honor of those students. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood’s Green Team providing each kindergartener with donated tree sapling," 28 Oct. 2020 So look for one growing in a cluster or near a leafy sapling or surrounded by conifers. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "The Complete Guide to Hunting Deer from a Treestand," 11 Sep. 2020 Secure the long end of the wire with a few loops around a sapling beside the trail or to a stout stick driven into the ground. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Timeless Survival Skills," 5 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for sapling

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

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Statistics for sapling

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sapling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for sapling



English Language Learners Definition of sapling

: a young tree


sap·​ling | \ ˈsa-pliŋ How to pronounce sapling (audio) \

Kids Definition of sapling

: a young tree

More from Merriam-Webster on sapling

Nglish: Translation of sapling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sapling for Arabic Speakers

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