1. any of several sagelike, bushy composite plants of the genus Artemisia, especially A. tridentata, having silvery, wedge-shaped leaves, with three teeth at the tip, common on the dry plains of the western U.S.

Origin of sagebrush

An Americanism dating back to 1825–35; sage2 + brush2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sagebrush

Historical Examples of sagebrush

  • Once clear of the sagebrush, she drew rein for him to come up.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • The air was filled with odors of camels, of cous-cous, of sagebrush.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • I must see if I can't contrive to make some sort of a shelter with this sagebrush.


    Edward Bellamy

  • The fire on Sagebrush sparkled like a single jewel in a vast setting.

  • Some one was coming along the rough trail through the sagebrush.

British Dictionary definitions for sagebrush


  1. any of several aromatic plants of the genus Artemisia, esp A. tridentata, a shrub of W North America, having silver-green leaves and large clusters of small white flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)
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 sagebrush

1850, from sage (n.1), to which it has no biological affinity, + brush (n.2). Said to be so called for resemblance of its appearance or odor.

Sage-brush is very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child, the mule. ["Mark Twain," "Roughing It"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper