[ahr-byoo-tuh s]

noun, plural ar·bu·tus·es.

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arbutus

Historical Examples of arbutus

  • Yes; and I took your hint about the arbutus leaves, too, doctor.

  • Killarney, the region of the arbutus, boasts of no such tree as this.

    A Tour in Ireland

    Arthur Young

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


    Anna Balmer Myers

  • She placed the box of arbutus in the garden path and laid her hand on his arm.


    Anna Balmer Myers

  • Oh, the arbutus days, what memories and longings they awaken!

British Dictionary definitions for arbutus


noun plural -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 for arbutus

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