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

Examples of tree in a Sentence

Noun He chopped down the tree.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There will be no spectators in the park for the lighting of the tree. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Christmas light shows look different in 2020. What to expect at Louisville's annual events," 20 Nov. 2020 But, the real goal is to look at the beauty of the tree on Christmas morning. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Albion Elementary School PTA presents Ohio Achievement Awards: Strong Points," 19 Nov. 2020 The event will include holiday stories, a sing-a-long and lighting of a tree. Annie Alleman,, "There is plenty to do in the suburbs during this unusual holiday season," 13 Nov. 2020 The nest was eradicated by vacuuming out the hornets, and the entomologists removed the section of the tree with the nest, later opening it to collect remaining hornets. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Over 500 'murder hornets' found in first known active 'murder hornet' nest," 11 Nov. 2020 Likewise, rangefinders made specifically for hunting have features that won’t be of interest to golfers, like high angle compensation for measuring distances out of tree stands and the ability to range at extremely long distances. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Questions To Ask When Buying A Laser Rangefinder," 10 Nov. 2020 Careful watering and pruning of the tree can calm and clear the mind, and little rituals performed regularly can be an indispensable way to maintain mental health. Matt Jancer, Wired, "15 Gift Ideas for Mom and Dad—Wherever They Are This Year," 6 Nov. 2020 Some years more hunters are injured or killed by falling out of tree stands or while climbing into or out of stands than are injured or killed in firearms accidents. Star Tribune, "Safety should be top priority when deer hunting," 5 Nov. 2020 Leaner was piled up at the base of a tree, its trunk painted with blood. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, "The Story of Leaner, a 197-Inch Wisconsin Archery Buck," 2 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Only 20 percent of kids with peanut allergies do so, and only 14 percent of those allergic to tree nuts. Sara Chodosh, Popular Science, "Why do my allergies change as I age?," 20 Apr. 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

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tree.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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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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