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sumac

or su·mach

[soo-mak, shoo-]
noun
  1. any of several shrubs or small trees belonging to the genus Rhus of the cashew family, having milky sap, compound leaves, and small, fleshy fruit.
  2. a preparation of the dried and powdered leaves, bark, etc., of certain species of Rhus, especially R. coriaria of southern Europe, used especially in tanning.
  3. the wood of these trees.
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Origin of sumac

1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin < Arabic summāq
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sumach

Historical Examples of sumach

  • The dish was seasoned with salt, pepper, cardamom, and sumach.

    Our Little Turkish Cousin

    Mary Hazelton Wade

  • After they had slain him, many boughs of an oak did they cut, also of sumach.

  • The black-walnut-tree, the maple-tree, and the sumach furnished our table with wine.

    Atala

    Franois Auguste de Chateaubriand

  • The cotton being scoured and bleached, is boiled with sumach.

  • Sumach is mixed with the madder for all these colours except for the purple.


British Dictionary definitions for sumach

sumach

US sumac

noun
  1. any temperate or subtropical shrub or small tree of the anacardiaceous genus Rhus, having compound leaves, clusters of green flowers, and red hairy fruitsSee also poison sumach
  2. a preparation of powdered leaves of certain species of Rhus, esp R. coriaria, used in dyeing and tanning
  3. the wood of any of these plants
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Word Origin for sumach

C14: via Old French from Arabic summāq
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 sumach

sumac

n.

c.1300, "preparation of dried, chopped leaves of a plant of the genus Rhus" (used in tanning and dyeing and as an astringent), from Old French sumac (13c.), from Medieval Latin sumach, from Arabic summaq, from Syrian summaq "red." Later applied to a North American plant species.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sumach in Medicine

sumac

n.
  1. Any of various shrubs or small trees of the genus Rhus, having compound leaves, clusters of small greenish flowers, and usually red, hairy fruit. Some species, such as the poison ivy and poison oak, cause an acute itching rash on contact.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.