[bon-sahy, -zahy, bohn-, bon-sahy, -zahy, bohn-]
- a tree or shrub that has been dwarfed, as by pruning the roots and pinching, and is grown in a pot or other container and trained to produce a desired shape or effect.
- the art or hobby of developing and growing such a plant or plants.
Origin of bonsai
1945–50; < Japanese bon-sai tray planting < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese pén tray + zāi plant, shoot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bonsai
Ways of Going Home was a bit longer than Bonsai and The Private Lives of Trees but not by much.
I read somewhere that at first you did not understand how Bonsai could be made into a film.
- the art of growing dwarfed ornamental varieties of trees or shrubs in small shallow pots or trays by selective pruning, etc
- a tree or shrub grown by this method
C20: Japanese: plant grown in a pot, from bon basin, bowl + sai to plant
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 bonsai
1914, from Japanese bon "basin, pot" + sai "to plant."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper