\ ˈtrē How to pronounce tree (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Tree (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Tree (audio) \ adjective
treelike \ ˈtrē-​ˌlīk How to pronounce Tree (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tree in a Sentence

Noun He chopped down the tree.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Don’t cast from a brushy or tree-lined spot and try to lead a hooked fish through the cover. Bill May,, "Bill May: Fishing the cicada catch, maybe one final time | OUTDOORS COMMENTARY," 1 May 2021 The Turdidae have some real aristocrats in their tree, beginning with the bluebird — that blithe symbol of rural America — and ascending to the wood thrush. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: When the red, red robin goes bob, bob bobbing along, it won't be with John Gurda," 30 Apr. 2021 To be sure about your tree's health, Petty suggested scheduling an appointment with an arborist or forester. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, "The Sapling Dead: How to spot zombie trees after the Texas freeze," 29 Apr. 2021 Positionally, Toney has the size and athleticism to play out wide, but his route tree is still developing. Jonas Shaffer,, "Ravens draft preview: For offense in search of a star receiver, Rashod Bateman could be quite the catch," 26 Apr. 2021 For example, eucalyptus tortoise beetles chew on the leaves of their namesake tree, but likely don’t kill it. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Celebrate Earth Day by taking part in a Bay Area citizen science project," 21 Apr. 2021 Cut away frost damage from trees: If your tree is cracked from the cold, carefully cut away the bark or gently tear it loose. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "How the late snow could affect your plants — and how to protect them," 20 Apr. 2021 After her husband’s return from captivity, Ms. Laingen hung a yellow ribbon on her oak tree on only one other occasion — in the early 1990s, when two of her sons were serving in the Navy in the Persian Gulf War. Emily Langer,, "Penelope Laingen, who united nation with yellow ribbons during Iran hostage crisis, dies at 89," 17 Apr. 2021 In the end, only one puny young man had the spark of hope needed to pull the sword from its tree and dispel the darkness. Ben Rosenstock, Vulture, "Mythic Quest: Everlight Recap: Believe in the Light," 17 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After cicadas fly, mate, and buzz about, the female adult cicadas will make their way to tree branches to lay their eggs, which will hatch in about four to six weeks. Felicity Warner, USA TODAY, "Brood X is on the way: Here's how to keep cicadas out of your home and yard," 29 Apr. 2021 Cuyahoga County has committed $1 million per year for the next five years to tree planting and care through the Healthy Urban Tree Canopy grant program. cleveland, "Cuyahoga County will need ‘all hands on deck’ to grow a healthy tree canopy," 15 Apr. 2021 Some 30 local governments and nonprofits have formed the Cleveland Tree Coalition to work on solutions to tree canopy loss. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Holden Arboretum launches People for Trees campaign to green up balding patches of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio," 25 Feb. 2021 My dog runs out in front with his nose to the ground, trying to tree a foxtail or gray. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "Right Now is The Best Time to Be a Public-Land Small-Game Hunter," 12 Jan. 2021 The Natural Organic Certification Course covers everything from soil-building and planting techniques to tree care and pest control. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Garden gift guide: Consider books, organic goods or educational classes," 14 Dec. 2020 Adding amendments such as peat moss, sand or foreign soils to the backfill not only wastes money but is detrimental to tree health and growth. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Now that you’ve dug a hole, here’s how to plant your tree," 26 Oct. 2020 From gorgeous stoneware pieces to tree toppers to table decor, there's something for every room. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "Magnolia’s New 'Hearth and Hand' Holiday Collection Is Finally Here," 23 Oct. 2020 Countdown to tree death—see how pine beetles do their damage. Hillary Rosner, National Geographic, "A tiny pest helped stoke this year’s devastating wildfires," 1 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tree

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tree

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tree.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce tree (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tree (audio) \

Medical Definition of tree

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tree

Nglish: Translation of tree for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tree for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tree

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