or su·mach

[ soo-mak, shoo- ]
/ ˈsu mæk, ˈʃu- /


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.
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.
the wood of these trees.

Origin of sumac

1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin < Arabic summāq Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sumach

British Dictionary definitions for sumach


US sumac

/ (ˈsuːmæk, ˈʃuː-) /


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
a preparation of powdered leaves of certain species of Rhus, esp R. coriaria, used in dyeing and tanning
the wood of any of these plants

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

Medicine definitions for sumach



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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.