\ ˈtrē \

Definition of tree 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a woody perennial plant having a single usually elongate main stem generally with few or no branches on its lower part

b : a shrub or herb of arborescent form rose trees a banana tree

2 : something in the form of or resembling a tree: such as

a : a diagram or graph that branches usually from a simple stem or vertex without forming loops or polygons a genealogical tree phylogenetic trees

b : a much-branched system of channels especially in an animal body the vascular tree

3a(1) : a piece of wood (such as a post or pole) usually adapted to a particular use or forming part of a structure or implement

(2) archaic : the cross on which Jesus was crucified

b archaic : gallows


treed; treeing

Definition of tree (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to drive to or up a tree treed by a bull dogs treeing game

b : to put into a position of extreme disadvantage : corner especially : to bring to bay

2 : to furnish or fit (a shoe) with a tree


biographical name
\ ˈtrē \

Definition of Tree (Entry 3 of 3)

Sir Herbert (Draper) Beerbohm 1853–1917 English actor-manager

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Other words from tree


treeless \ˈtrē-ləs \ adjective
treelike \ˈtrē-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of tree in a Sentence


He chopped down the tree.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Morgan used to trim branches from the tree in Simonsen’s front yard every spring. Lizzie Johnson,, "Regret haunts Wine Country fire hero: ‘I’ve never cried this much’," 13 July 2018 In this episode, one of Nancy's friends climbs a beautiful tree in the neighborhood cul-de-sac. Taylor Seely, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Watch this 'Fancy Nancy' sneak-peek clip before show premieres on Disney Junior Friday, July 13," 12 July 2018 Try fishing next to deeper trees in coves toward main lake or brush piles. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 Sheep rancher Robert Allison began growing fruit trees in the area in the late 1800s and his son, Joseph, built a water flume to the area. Karen Pearlman,, "The Big Lemon turns 90," 10 July 2018 Robinson’s Jeep went off the road and hit a tree, troopers said. Michael Williams,, "Man, 19, killed in Volusia motorcycle crash, troopers say," 10 July 2018 The Ford Fiesta carrying the Duluth residents swerved off the road after the collision and hit a tree, reported. Steve Burns, ajc, "2 from Gwinnett killed, 2 injured in Alabama crash," 10 July 2018 The Monte Carlo had gone on a wild ride, careening through church grounds, fields and ditches, knocking over a street sign and ramming into a tree in someone’s front yard. New York Times, "From Fighting Injustice to Facing Death Row: The Bizarre Case of Pastor Glasgow," 7 July 2018 His truck veered off the road, hit a fire hydrant and smashed through a fence before hitting the tree. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'My angel wings sprouted again': Greenfield alderwoman helps another stranger after seizure, fall," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officers used a Karelian bear dog to track and tree the bear, Travis said. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, "Officials capture wandering bear in Mukilteo," 10 June 2018 Aimee Weiss, of Highland Park, said her doctor wrote a prescription for multiple packages of EpiPens for her 12-year-old daughter, who’s allergic to tree nuts. Lisa Schencker,, "EpiPen shortage hits Illinois," 9 May 2018 Milwaukee mom Karen Kovochich, whose son is allergic to tree nuts, agrees. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Allergy parents sound off on the approach 'Peter Rabbit' takes on food allergies," 13 Feb. 2018 The cones are collected, bagged, tagged, stored, and then driven more than 2,000 miles in a refrigerated truck from Georgia—situated between Turkey, Russia, and Iran—to tree nurseries across Europe. John Wendle, National Geographic, "Gravity-Defying Villagers Risk Their Lives for Christmas Trees," 21 Dec. 2017 Since 2009, when a cougar was treed in western Wisconsin, the DNR has attempted to collect hair, blood, stool or other samples from the animals for genetic analyses. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Watchers on lookout for female cougars in Wisconsin," 1 Nov. 2017 Thanks to Treepedia, an online map launched by the MIT Senseable City Lab, inhabitants of 20 urban centers can compare the distribution of their city’s greenery to tree coverage in other places across the globe. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "MIT’s ‘Treepedia’ Shows How Green Your City Grows," 25 Apr. 2017 National research also shows healthy trees can add between 7 and 11 percent to the value of a property, and homes with treed lots sell faster than those without trees. Detroit Free Press, "Appeal of urban ‘tree canopies’ growing across Michigan," 11 Sep. 2017 After all, as they’ve been warned by their doctors, skin and blood test results reveal that those with peanut allergies are also often allergic to tree nuts. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "Tree Nut Allergies May Be Massively Overdiagnosed," 18 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tree.' 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 tree


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1575, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tree


Middle English, from Old English trēow; akin to Old Norse trē tree, Greek drys, Sanskrit dāru wood

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Statistics for tree

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tree

The first known use of tree was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for tree



English Language Learners Definition of tree

: a usually tall plant that has a thick, wooden stem and many large branches

: a drawing that connects things with lines to show how they are related to each other


\ ˈtrē \

Kids Definition of tree

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a long-lived woody plant that has a single usually tall main stem with few or no branches on its lower part

2 : a plant of treelike form a banana tree

3 : something shaped like a tree a clothes tree

Other words from tree

treeless \-ləs \ adjective
treelike \-ˌlīk \ adjective


treed; treeing

Kids Definition of tree (Entry 2 of 2)

: to force to go up a tree A dog treed their cat.


\ ˈtrē \

Medical Definition of tree 

: an anatomical system or structure having many branches the vascular tree — see biliary tree, bronchial tree, tracheobronchial tree

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Comments on tree

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


the setting in which something occurs

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