catalpa

[ kuh-tal-puh ]

noun
  1. any of several trees constituting the genus Catalpa, of the bignonia family, especially C. speciosa, of the central U.S., or C. bignonioides, of the southern U.S., having opposite, sometimes whorled leaves, clusters of white flowers, and long, beanlike seed pods.

Origin of catalpa

1
1720–30, Americanism; (<New Latin ) <Creek katałpa, equivalent to ka-, combining form of iká head + tałpa wing (apparently so called from the shape of the flower)

Words Nearby catalpa

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use catalpa in a sentence

  • The leaves of a catalpa, across the roadway, hung motionless.

  • Looking out, she saw to her surprise that Julia was sitting on the terrace under the crooked catalpa-tree.

    The Open Question | Elizabeth Robins
  • On the crooked limb of the catalpa-tree they rigged up a splendid swing, and Jerry stayed to luncheon.

    The Open Question | Elizabeth Robins
  • The yard was shaded by stately locusts and elms, and a catalpa tree in season rained its pink and white blossoms upon the grass.

    Sixes and Sevens | O. Henry
  • The servant was spreading a Navajo blanket on the ground, under the catalpa-tree.

    The Open Question | Elizabeth Robins

British Dictionary definitions for catalpa

catalpa

/ (kəˈtælpə) /


noun
  1. any bignoniaceous tree of the genus Catalpa of North America and Asia, having large leaves, bell-shaped whitish flowers, and long slender pods

Origin of catalpa

1
C18: New Latin, from Carolina Creek kutuhlpa, literally: winged head, referring to the appearance of the flowers

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