\ 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 It’s used for public gatherings like city’s annual holiday tree lighting ceremony and 9/11 memorial service. Gloria Casas,, "Elgin Civic Center Plaza reopening delayed till June to allow time for landscaping work," 22 Dec. 2020 Typical holiday traditions that normally remind people to do their shopping couldn't happen safely this year — like gathering at Campus Martius for the Detroit tree lighting. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, "Need last-minute holiday gifts? Here are ideas from 5 metro Detroit businesses," 19 Dec. 2020 Dozens of children who attended a tree lighting event may have been exposed to COVID-19 after a pair performing as Santa and Mrs. Claus tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Nursing homes, contagious Clauses, toy drive boost: News from around our 50 states," 18 Dec. 2020 While Lukes is happy to provide residents with the holiday video, her Christmas wish is a return to normalcy, allowing for a traditional tree lighting event in 2021. John Benson, cleveland, "Olmsted Falls 2020 virtual tree lighting video provides safe holiday cheer," 17 Dec. 2020 The event was followed by a tree lighting and an opportunity for children to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Old Well. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "A Santa Tested Positive for COVID-19—And May Have Exposed 50 Kids," 16 Dec. 2020 The Ludowici event was held outside in the city about an hour southwest of Savannah, with a parade followed by a tree lighting and the chance for kids to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus at a pavilion. Washington Post, "Dozens of children went to see Santa. He may have exposed them to the coronavirus," 16 Dec. 2020 The parade was followed by a tree-lighting ceremony and a chance for children to get a picture taken with Santa. Fox News, "Santa tests positive for COVID-19 after contact with dozens of children in Georgia," 15 Dec. 2020 The holidays are officially here, which means it’s time to bring on the caroling, cookie decorating, (virtual) tree lighting ceremonies and one of our personal favorite holiday traditions: ugly Christmas sweaters. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "22 ugly Christmas sweaters for your holiday Zoom parties," 9 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Contractors will be back in the fall to evaluate yard and tree lawn restoration work. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Rocky River construction update; COVID note from mayor," 6 July 2020 The pandemic challenges us to recognize the immense experiment that planet Earth is, and that human beings are part of the same community—all peoples, past and future ancestors, animal human beings, tree human beings. Wired Staff, Wired, "After the Virus: How We'll Learn, Age, Move, Listen, and Create," 18 June 2020 Pelc and his parish have also tied more than 3,000 ribbons to tree branches in memory of Michiganders who have died from the virus. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Detroit priest uses squirt gun to spray holy water on parishioners as they socially distance," 18 May 2020 Numerous books and videos are available to help with everything from probable morel locations to tree identification. Gary Garth And Matt Every, Outdoor Life, "12 Tips for Finding More Morel Mushrooms This Spring," 3 Apr. 2019

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 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tree.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for tree


How to pronounce Tree (audio)

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

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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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