bonsai

[ bon-sahy, -zahy, bohn-, bon-sahy, -zahy, bohn- ]
/ bɒnˈsaɪ, -ˈzaɪ, boʊn-, ˈbɒn saɪ, -zaɪ, ˈboʊn- /

noun, plural bon·sai.

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.

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Origin of bonsai

1945–50; <Japanese bon-sai tray planting <Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese pén tray + zāi plant, shoot

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH bonsai

banzai, bonsai
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for bonsai

bonsai
/ (ˈbɒnsaɪ) /

noun plural -sai

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

Word Origin for bonsai

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