Meaning of TREE in English

I. ˈtrē noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English tre, tree, from Old English trēow; akin to Old Frisian & Old Norse trē tree, Old Saxon trio, treo tree, Old High German aphol tra apple tree, Gothic triu tree, wood, Greek drys tree, dory spear, Sanskrit dāru wood, dru tree, branch wood


a. : a woody perennial plant having a single main stem that may be short but is usually considerably elongated, has generally few or no branches on its lower part, and is crowned with a head of branches and foliage or (as in palms) of foliage only — compare herb , shrub

b. : a shrub or herb that grows naturally in or is trained into an arborescent form

old rose trees

a sturdy banana tree

some plants that are tall trees under favorable conditions are mere shrubs at the extremes of their range


a. archaic : the substance of trees especially as a source of structural material

b. : a piece of wood (as a stick, stave, post, or pole) either dressed or undressed and usually adapted to a particular use: as

(1) : a piece (as a bar, lever, brace, or support) forming a part of a structure or implement — usually used in combination; see axletree , chesstree , crosstree , doubletree , singletree , whiffletree

(2) obsolete : the shaft of a spear or lance

(3) chiefly Scotland : staff , cudgel

(4) dialect : a wooden handle (as of a spade)

c. : a structure or fabrication of or typically or originally of wood: as

(1) obsolete : ship

(2) archaic : gallows

(3) chiefly Scotland : a wooden container (as a cask for ale)

(4) : saddletree

(5) : shoe tree

d. sometimes capitalized : christmas tree

gifts clustered under the tree

3. : something having the typical form of or felt to resemble a tree: as

a. : a design, diagram, or diagrammatic representation that depicts a branching from an original stem

a genealogical tree

b. : an arborescent aggregation of crystals — see lead tree

c. : a much-branched system of channels especially in an animal body

the vascular tree

also : a cast of such a tree

a bronchial tree prepared by corrosion techniques

- as trees walking

- up a tree

II. verb

( treed ; treed ; treeing ; trees )

transitive verb


a. : to drive to or up a tree : cause to take refuge in a tree

treed by a bull

dogs treeing small game

b. : to put into a position of extreme disadvantage : corner ; especially : to bring (an evasive individual) to bay


a. : to furnish or construct with a tree

tree an axle

b. : to plant or cover with trees


(1) : to fit (as a shoe) with a tree

(2) : to shape and stretch (as a saddle) over a tree

intransitive verb


a. : to take refuge in a tree

the coon soon treed

b. : to cause an animal to take refuge especially in a tree

the dogs treed early that night

2. : to take the form of a tree

crystals treeing in a saturated solution

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.