• synonyms

sorrel tree

  1. a North American tree, Oxydendrum arboreum, of the heath family, having leaves with an acid flavor and drooping clusters of white flowers.
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Origin of sorrel tree

An Americanism dating back to 1680–90
Also called sourwood.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sorrel tree

Historical Examples

  • They were the flowers of the sorrel-tree—the beautiful lyonia—the very sight of which sent a thrill of gladness through my heart.

    The Desert Home

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for sorrel tree

sorrel tree

  1. a deciduous ericaceous tree, Oxydendrum arboreum, of E North America, having deeply fissured bark, sour-tasting leaves, and small white flowersAlso called: sourwood
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Word Origin

C17: so called because the bitter flavour of the leaves is reminiscent of sorrel
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