any tree of the genus Ulmus, as U. procera (English elm), characterized by the gradually spreading columnar manner of growth of its branches.Compare American elm, elm family.
the wood of such a tree.

Origin of elm

before 1000; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old High German elm; akin to Old Norse almr, Latin ulmus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elm

Contemporary Examples of elm

  • As I opened the door to my house, a scene from Nightmare on Elm Street started to explode.

    The Daily Beast logo
    ‘Has Beverly Hills Fallen Yet?’

    Shelby Coffey III

    April 26, 2012

  • This year, she starred as the protagonist Nancy Holbrook in the remake of the 1980s horror movie A Nightmare on Elm Street.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Dragon Tattoo Actress Cast

    Gina Piccalo

    August 16, 2010

  • As with most horror remakes, the new Nightmare on Elm Street finds the tune but loses the rhythm.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Stop Remaking Horror Movies!

    Keith Phipps

    April 29, 2010

Historical Examples of elm

  • She could hear the oriole singing in the elm; his song was almost articulate.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • The elm was almost as beautiful in one season as in another.

    The Village Watch-Tower

    (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • The elm, indeed, was the only object that ever did cast its shadow there.

    The Village Watch-Tower

    (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • All that side was brilliant green, the other side with the elm tree was dark.

    Father Sergius

    Leo Tolstoy

  • Or it may be “llwyv,” an elm tree, in reference to the devastation of the groves just mentioned.

    Y Gododin


British Dictionary definitions for elm



any ulmaceous tree of the genus Ulmus, occurring in the N hemisphere, having serrated leaves and winged fruits (samaras): cultivated for shade, ornament, and timber
the hard heavy wood of this tree

Word Origin for elm

Old English elm; related to Old Norse almr, Old High German elm, Latin ulmus
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

Word Origin and History for elm

Old English elm, from Proto-Germanic *elmaz (cf. Danish elm, Old Norse almr, Old High German elme), perhaps from PIE root *el- "red, brown" (see elk); cognate with Latin ulmus, Old Irish lem. German Ulme, Dutch olm are from or influenced by the Latin word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper