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[ahr-byoo-tuh s] /ɑrˈbyu təs/
noun, plural arbutuses.
any of the evergreen shrubs or trees belonging to the genus Arbutus, of the heath family, especially A. unedo, of southern Europe, with scarlet berries, cultivated for ornament and food.
Origin of arbutus
1545-55; < New Latin, Latin: the wild strawberry tree Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for arbutus
Historical Examples
  • It is wild, with heath and arbutus scrub and a sort of myrtle, breast-high.

    Sea and Sardinia D. H. Lawrence
  • Yes; and I took your hint about the arbutus leaves, too, doctor.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
  • There is a sort of track through chestnut and myrtle and arbutus with scarlet fruit against the sky.

    Ruskin Relics W. G. Collingwood
  • Killarney, the region of the arbutus, boasts of no such tree as this.

    A Tour in Ireland Arthur Young
  • I promised David I'd come home for arbutus and the inspiration came to go home for the whole spring and summer.

    Patchwork Anna Balmer Myers
  • Fancy living where you never saw any arbutus or had the joy of picking them.

    Patchwork Anna Balmer Myers
  • Trewhella met them, stepping suddenly out from a grove of arbutus trees, a thunderous figure.

    Carnival Compton Mackenzie
  • Their charms do not abide with you as do those of the arbutus.

  • At the hedge, he added: "I'd like to put a bit of arbutus in your buttonhole, for your May."

    The Happy Venture Edith Ballinger Price
  • Sometimes they have sprays of arbutus in their buttonholes, or bunches of hepatica.

British Dictionary definitions for arbutus


noun (pl) -tuses
any of several temperate ericaceous shrubs of the genus Arbutus, esp the strawberry tree of S Europe. They have clusters of white or pinkish flowers, broad evergreen leaves, and strawberry-like berries
Word Origin
C16: from Latin; related to arbor tree
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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