- 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
Examples from the Web for 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.
- 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 and History for sumach
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.
- 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.