Definition of bonsai in English:

bonsai

noun

mass noun
  • 1The art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed varieties of trees and shrubs in pots.

    • ‘It wasn't until Japan exhibited at the 1878 World Exhibition in Paris that bonsai resurfaced on the international stage.’
    • ‘These miniature trees made famous from the Japanese art of bonsai can be found all over Asia, in China, Thailand, Vietnam and other cultures.’
    • ‘In Japanese bonsai can be translated as ‘tray planting’ and for the Japanese it represents a fusion of ancient beliefs with eastern philosophies of harmony.’
    • ‘Mr Hawksby said the Scottish contingent were all people he met while exhibiting or teaching bonsai at shows.’
    • ‘This is also manifest in things like bonsai, where control of form and nature is more important to aesthetic beauty than the wild lines of real nature.’
    • ‘Many of the folks in my bonsai group un-pot their trees in early fall and plant them back in the ground on top of a piece of slate or the like (to prevent deep rooting).’
    • ‘‘I became interested in their culture and took formal training in art, bonsai and ikebana,’ she says.’
    • ‘Decide what your tree will look like ten years down the road; bonsai rewards the patient and the far-sighted and teaches it to those of us who are neither’
    • ‘Don't miss Kinokuniya Bookstore, where you will find everything from collections of Japanese poetry to books on the art of bonsai.’
    • ‘The trees belonged to her husband Thomas, 57, a self-employed window cleaner, who has been growing bonsai for more than ten years.’
    • ‘The nation that dreamed up bonsai and origami and leads the world in nanotechnology prefers life to be bite-size, delicate, petite.’
    • ‘Ma compared this kind of ‘fill empty space’ sculpture to bonsai.’
    • ‘Mr Bolton has been practising the art of bonsai for more than 30 years and has around 50 different trees.’
    • ‘He has been experimenting with miniature gardens since he was about seven - encouraged by his mother, whose interests included bonsai.’
    • ‘Barry's a horticulturist and I just love growing things so we bought a cedar tree and a book on the basics of bonsai.’
    • ‘Even books on bonsai were not available then.’
    • ‘As the art of bonsai demonstrates, you can limit almost any tree to any size by careful pruning.’
    1. 1.1count noun An ornamental tree or shrub grown using the art of bonsai.
      • ‘Her kimono was sky blue and had a bonsai tree sewn into the sleeves.’
      • ‘But he said that he will not part with any of the bonsai from his collection even if a bigger price were to be offered.’
      • ‘Our hotel had the most exquisite gardens with bonsai and frangipani trees everywhere.’
      • ‘The aristocrats of plants grown in pots are bonsai, perfectly normal garden trees skilfully trained to grow as miniatures ranging from three inches to three feet tall.’
      • ‘When she arrived, she gazed upon a very old bonsai tree that lay rooted in the middle of a serene rock garden.’
      • ‘It was built into what looked like a huge, fifty foot tall bonsai tree.’
      • ‘Seeing that he had a green thumb from a young age, the friend suggested specialising in some particular form like the bonsai or cacti.’
      • ‘On display are more than 20 varieties of bonsai.’
      • ‘She explained that a bonsai tree could easily outlive its owner if properly cared for.’
      • ‘My problem is that I live in an apartment and have a lot of cacti, bonsai and orchids but I am unable to put them in a correct place.’
      • ‘She quickly misted her bonsai tree and then laid down on her bed and finished writing her letter.’
      • ‘Among the collections are a few soil-less bonsai.’
      • ‘He owns a great website helping people find out more about the bonsai tree.’
      • ‘This presentation, the second in a series, showcases excellent bonsai from the very best artists in the world.’
      • ‘Cultivating a bonsai tree requires some care and attention, but as a reward it brings tranquility to the mind, a feeling of being refreshed and, inner peace.’
      • ‘Given an adequate supply of water, air and light, a properly maintained bonsai should outlive a full-size tree of the same species.’
      • ‘On display is a range of artificial bonsai plants that can enliven your rooms.’
      • ‘I just answered a post from a lady who had cared for her beautiful bonsai for 9 years and couldn't figure out why it was slipping away this season.’
      • ‘Bonsai tree wiring is an advanced skill to grow the bonsai into an art form.’
      • ‘Fifty species of bonsai, comprising trees and shrubs, are on display.’

Origin

1950s: from Japanese, from bon ‘tray’ + sai ‘planting’.

Pronunciation

bonsai

/ˈbɒnsʌɪ/