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See more synonyms for sapling on Thesaurus.com
  1. a young tree.
  2. a young person.
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Origin of sapling

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at sap1, -ling1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sapling


  1. a young tree
  2. literary a youth
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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

Word Origin and History for sapling


early 14c., from sap (n.1) + diminutive suffix -ling. This probably is the source of American English slang sap (n.3) "club, short staff" (1899) and the verb sap (v.2) "to hit (someone) with a sap" (1926).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper