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maple

[mey-puh l]
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noun
  1. any of numerous trees or shrubs of the genus Acer, species of which are grown as shade or ornamental trees, for timber, or for sap.Compare maple family.
  2. the wood of any such tree.
  3. the flavor of maple syrup or maple sugar.
  4. Bowling Slang. pin(def 12).
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Origin of maple

before 900; Middle English mapel, Old English mapul-, in mapultrēow, mapulder maple tree, cognate with Old Saxon mapulder
Related formsma·ple·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for maple

maple

noun
  1. any tree or shrub of the N temperate genus Acer, having winged seeds borne in pairs and lobed leaves: family Aceraceae
  2. the hard close-grained wood of any of these trees, used for furniture and flooring
  3. the flavour of the sap of the sugar maple
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Word Origin

C14: from Old English mapel-, as in mapeltrēow maple 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

Word Origin and History for maple

n.

c.1300, from Old English mapultreow "maple tree," also mapolder, mapuldre, related to Old Norse möpurr, Old Saxon mapulder, Middle Low German mapeldorn, from Proto-Germanic *maplo-. There also was a Proto-Germanic *matlo- (cf. Old High German mazzaltra, German maszholder), but the connection and origins are mysterious. Formerly with adjectival form mapelin (early 15c.; Old English mapuldern). Maple syrup attested from 1824, American English. The maple leaf is mentioned as the emblem of Canada from 1850.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper