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[buht-n-woo d] /ˈbʌt nˌwʊd/
Chiefly Eastern New England. sycamore (def 1).
Origin of buttonwood
An Americanism dating back to 1665-75; button + wood1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for buttonwood
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After this I built a small fire of buttonwood and set about preparing breakfast.

    Wings of the Wind Credo Harris
  • Or will we build the Falcon's Nest in the buttonwood over on the Strail?

    How To Do It Edward Everett Hale
  • Its small branches shed their bark like the buttonwood, the flakes curling back and showing the bright green under layer.

    Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers
  • The buttonwood leaf in a general way resembles a maple's, being as broad as long, with three main lobes at the top.

    Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers
  • I dined in the elegance of simplicity, and Smilax extinguished our small fire of buttonwood.

    Wings of the Wind Credo Harris
  • Near akin to white mangrove is Florida buttonwood (Conocarpus erecta) which is highly esteemed as fuel.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson
  • buttonwood Street, where he spent the first ten years of his life, was a lovely place for a boy to live.

    The Financier Theodore Dreiser
  • Ned waited beside the buttonwood tree until another flash gave him a brief glimpse of the boat far below the island.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires William Murray Graydon
  • Maple or beech is a very good material, but the best are made from the buttonwood or American sycamore.

    Croquet Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for buttonwood


Also called buttonball. a North American plane tree, Platanus occidentalis See plane tree
a small West Indian tree, Conocarpus erectus, with button-like fruits and heavy hard compact wood: family Combretaceae
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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Word Origin and History for buttonwood

also button-wood, "North American plane tree," 1690s, from button (n.) + wood (n.). So called for their characteristic round fruit.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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