smoke tree


: either of two small shrubby trees (genus Cotinus) of the cashew family with large panicles of minute flowers that suggest a cloud of smoke:
: one (C. coggygria) of Eurasia that is widely planted in the eastern U.S.
: one (C. obovatus) of the southeastern U.S. and Texas

Examples of smoke tree in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The window panes were dust-free, the floors consistently mopped, the lawn always mowed, small oceans of grass that separated islands of smoke trees and bleeding hearts. Hazlitt, 6 Sep. 2023 Golden Spirit smoke tree tops out at about 8 feet tall, but other cultivars of smoke tree are quite large shrubs, growing up to 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 21 Aug. 2022 The straight species of Eurasian smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria) has plain green leaves. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 21 Aug. 2022 My multi-stemmed smoke tree (Cotinus obovate), which has been in the ground three years, has developed on one stem a die-back from the base toward the meristem of the sub-laterals in the course of three days. oregonlive, 31 July 2021 For the showiest models, Gregg recommends viewing the Japanese maple, Chinese pistache, and American smoke trees. Susan O'Keefe, National Geographic, 29 Nov. 2019

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

1846, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of smoke tree was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near smoke tree

Cite this Entry

“Smoke tree.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

smoke tree

: either of two shrubs or small trees that are related to the cashew and have large clusters of tiny flowers that look like clouds of smoke

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