\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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


He chopped down the tree.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Rope swing into the cascading waters or chill in spring-fed pools and admire the century-old guango trees. Essence, "Essence Escapes: Jamaica's South Coast is One of The Island's Best Kept Secrets," 12 Sep. 2019 The beginning of the Mike Leach coaching tree can be seen on his first Texas Tech team. oregonlive, "The night a supposedly overmatched Portland State team blew out Boise State: Issues & Answers," 11 Sep. 2019 Enjoy presentations by and discussions with your National Geographic expert, get to know your fellow travelers, and share coconuts straight off the tree. National Geographic, "Belize Expedition: Oceans and Underwater Exploration," 10 Sep. 2019 People were hanging clothes across fences and in trees in an effort to dry them out. Fox News, "Reporter's Notebook: Dorian leaves wrecked homes and lives on Grand Bahama Island," 8 Sep. 2019 The trees would be replaced with young eucalyptuses standing about 8 to 10 feet tall, the city says. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Newport parks commission to weigh removing some of Balboa Island’s iconic eucalyptus trees," 1 Sep. 2019 The tree burners of the Amazon are replicating a method responsible for the creation of agricultural societies across Asia and Europe. Girish Shahane, Quartz India, "The Amazon fires have a 3,000-year-old parallel in the Indian epic Mahabharata," 30 Aug. 2019 Between 50 and 100 black vultures could be seen, at various intervals, on the ground, in trees and in the air, between Westminster and New Windsor on Tuesday., "Wake of vultures: Numerous birds of prey create minor traffic issues, feast on carcass," 27 Aug. 2019 The hot dog is decorated with bright yellow mustard and green relish that blend well with autumn aspen and the evergreen trees on surrounding mountainsides. Tom Noel, The Know, "9 odd places that you should include on a Colorado road trip, from a giant hot dog to fake cliff dwellings," 25 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bipedalism set our ancestors apart from the apes, enabling ancient hominins to take advantage of a wider range of habitats than those available to tree climbers. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "A 3.8-Million-Year-Old Skull Puts a New Face on a Little-Known Human Ancestor," 29 Aug. 2019 Another patient, an elderly woman, was allergic to tree pollen, grass pollen, and weed pollen. Lucas Joel, Quartz, "Detroit accidentally caused a pollen crisis by bulldozing the city’s abandoned areas," 15 Aug. 2019 The nonprofit organization also devotes resources to tree planting, replacing asphalt lots with greenspaces, protecting the larger watershed, and improving habitat for fish and other native fauna., "Upcoming workshops help large landowners control invasive plants without chemicals," 1 Aug. 2019 McMurray was severely allergic to tree nuts, which make up a majority of granola bars and protein snacks, and O’Kane is a vegetarian. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "St. Paul team swims and paddles Boundary Waters in mine protest," 27 July 2019 The revelation that dogs could be trained to find scat occurred to him during a conversation with a hunter who used tracking dogs to tree bears. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "Sam Wasser pours his intense passion for protecting wildlife into research and catching poachers," 21 May 2019 Launched from forests, from mounts tied to tree trunks the Natter could be dispersed and hidden in locations where the Allies wouldn’t possibly think interceptors might rise to meet them. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Meet 'The Natter,' Nazi Germany's Wooden Rocket Plane," 19 June 2019 The grant has a matching requirement, Scott said, which means the village must also contribute $15,000 to tree replanting efforts. Mary Mcintyre, Lake County News-Sun, "After beetle wiped out 20% of parkway trees in Winthrop Harbor, federal grant will help restock the village," 14 June 2019 But some species reacted differently to the two types of lighting in relation to tree cover, according to the study, published in March in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. National Geographic, "Light pollution hurts urban bats. Trees can help.," 17 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tree

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tree

Spanish Central: Translation of tree

Nglish: Translation of tree for Spanish Speakers

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

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).


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!