One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An evergreen coniferous tree with upright cones and flat needle-shaped leaves, typically arranged in two rows. Firs are an important source of timber and resins.
Genus Abies, family Pinaceae: many speciesCompare with pine (sense 1)
- ‘It was a wilderness of cathedral-like redwoods, of ferns and huckleberries, oaks and stately firs, and a myriad of flowers and wildlife.’
- ‘Here and there, clumps of fir and birch trees rise out of the muddy wastes.’
- ‘I've had my share of disasters from grasshoppers, including having the bark on my young evergreen firs eaten when there was still lots of other forage.’
- ‘The vista beyond was dotted with leafless trees and throngs of firs and pine.’
- ‘As you ascend its mountains, you travel through rich forests of oak, juniper, and cypress in the canyons, and on the higher slopes, you'll see pines, firs, and aspens.’
- ‘As firs, redwoods, and oaks matured in her Hillsboro, Oregon, landscape, she started sculpting her many perennial beds.’
- ‘For spruces, firs and Douglas-fir, three or more years are usually needed to produce high quality planting stock.’
- ‘They have also grown juniper shrubs and maple, fir and pine trees.’
- ‘Conifers are seed plants; they include pines, firs, yew, redwood, and many other large trees.’
- ‘As we approach Aberdeen the sun comes out - blue sky, white waves, yellow gorse, green firs and fields.’
- ‘Vast tombs, embowered beneath the weeping willow and the fir tree, told of the antiquities of the Lloyd family, as well as of their wealth.’
- ‘These include unusual species such as Scots pine and Lodgepole pine, and Douglas fir and Cork fir.’
- ‘If you were stranded in the woods during a storm, you would be a bit safer standing under a tree with large flat leaves like oak, than you would under a fir or pine tree.’
- ‘Since the 1860s the Norway spruce has been the traditional tree, but now firs, less prone to needle-drop, have become fashionable.’
- ‘At 2,100m is the Pilu Sacred Tree, a massive fir that is thousands of years old.’
- ‘The high mountains support typical evergreen forests of firs and cypress, whilst on the lower slopes are to be found such trees as pines, chestnuts, and cork oak.’
- ‘The woodland grant scheme was introduced in 1988 to encourage landowners to switch from planting commercial plantations of foreign firs, such as Sitka spruce, to a mix of native pine and broadleaf.’
- ‘Spruces, firs and Douglas-fir can be sheared with good results from late July or early August and continuing until just before new growth starts the following spring.’
- ‘While we don't have tall trees, our neighbors do, and the firs and oaks that surround our property drop acorns and provide homes for jays, woodpeckers, robins and sparrows.’
- ‘Nests are usually built in deciduous trees, such as aspen, alder, cottonwood, or willow, but they may also be in firs or other conifers.’
Late Middle English: probably from Old Norse fyri- (recorded in fyriskógr ‘fir wood’).
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