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aspen

[as-puh n]
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noun
  1. any of various poplars, as Populus tremula, of Europe, and P. tremuloides (quaking aspen) or P. alba (white aspen), of America, having soft wood and alternate ovate leaves that tremble in the slightest breeze.
adjective
  1. of or relating to the aspen.
  2. trembling or quivering, like the leaves of the aspen.

Origin of aspen

1350–1400; Middle English aspen (adj.), Old English æspen; cognate with Old Frisian espen (adj.), espenbeam, Middle Dutch espenboom, Old High German espîn (adj.). See asp2, -en2

Aspen

[as-puh n]
noun
  1. a town in central Colorado: ski resort.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for aspen

aspen

noun
  1. any of several trees of the salicaceous genus Populus, such as P. tremula of Europe, in which the leaves are attached to the stem by long flattened stalks so that they quiver in the windArchaic name: asp
adjective
  1. archaic, mainly literary trembling

Word Origin

Old English æspe; see asp ²
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

Word Origin and History for aspen

n.

late 14c., from adjective or genitive form of Old English æspe "aspen tree, white poplar," from Proto-Germanic *aspo (cf. Old Norse ösp, Middle Dutch espe, Old High German aspa, German Espe), from PIE *apsa "aspen" (cf. Lithuanian opuse). The current form in English probably arose from phrases such as aspen leaf, aspen bark. Its leaves have been figurative of tremulousness and quaking since at least early 15c. (an Old English name for it was cwicbeam, literally "quick-tree").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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