• synonyms

cucumber tree

  1. any of several American magnolias, especially Magnolia acuminata, having ovate leaves, yellowish-green bell-shaped flowers, and dark red, conelike fruit.
  2. any of certain other trees, as an East Indian tree of the genus Averrhoa.
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Origin of cucumber tree

An Americanism dating back to 1775–85; so called from the resemblance of its fruit to cucumbers
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cucumber tree

Historical Examples

  • To "sell one's lentils well" and to "climb the cucumber-tree" mean to get on in the world and make one's fortune quickly.

    King Matthias and the Beggar Boy

    Nicholas Jsika

British Dictionary definitions for cucumber tree

cucumber tree

  1. any of several American trees or shrubs of the genus Magnolia, esp M. acuminata, of E and central North America, having cup-shaped greenish flowers and cucumber-shaped fruits
  2. an E Asian tree, Averrhoa bilimbi, with edible fruits resembling small cucumbers: family AverrhoaceaeSee also carambola
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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