• synonyms

smoke tree

  1. Also called American smoke tree, chittamwood. a tree, Cotinus obovatus, of the cashew family, native to the southeastern U.S., having egg-shaped leaves and large clusters of small white flowers.
  2. Also called Venetian sumac. a related shrub, C. coggygria, of Eurasia, having elliptical leaves and clusters of hairy, purple flowers.
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Origin of smoke tree

First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for smoke tree

Historical Examples

  • The Venetian sumach or smoke-tree (R. Cotinus) is commonly planted for ornament.

    Elements of Structural and Systematic Botany

    Douglas Houghton Campbell

  • Fustet, fus′tet, n. the smoke-tree or Venetian sumach, or its wood.

British Dictionary definitions for smoke tree

smoke tree

  1. an anacardiaceous shrub, Cotinus coggygria, of S Europe and Asia, having clusters of yellowish feathery flowers
  2. a related tree, Cotinus americanus, of the southern US
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Word Origin

C19: so named because of the similarity between its flower clusters and a cloud of smoke
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