Definition of sumac in English:

sumac

(also sumach)

noun

  • 1A shrub or small tree with compound leaves, reddish hairy fruits in conical clusters, and bright autumn colours.

    • ‘Commonly encountered shrubs barberry and Oregon graperoot (both Berberis species), sumacs, rose, blackberry, raspberry, myrtle, alders and elders.’
    • ‘You will remember that we accidentally killed the original tree, a sumach, by suffocating the roots with a mixture of rotting logs and sunflower husks.’
    • ‘If a child touches poison ivy, poison oak or a sumac plant, causing an itchy rash with pin-size clear blisters, give him a thorough bath to remove the oily resin that caused the reaction.’
    • ‘And you can get even better protection by avoiding poison ivy all together, as well as its cousins poison sumac and poison oak.’
    • ‘She left the road again and ran until she found another sheltered hollow in the trees and sumac, where she lay down and waited.’
    • ‘If the vision is clouded, the result is not what we intend; the apple tree is a poison sumac.’
    • ‘In late summer, we cleared the 2-and 3-inch-diameter sumacs that had invaded the old garden.’
    • ‘The procedure for making true lacquer required the resin secreted by the Rhus vemicifera, a sumac tree that was not indigenous to the West and was unknown in Europe until the beginning of the eighteenth century.’
    • ‘We also have a staghorn sumac tree and pussy willows.’
    • ‘In the northeastern foothills, on relatively dry slopes, bur oak dominates above an understory of hop hornbeam, smooth sumac, coralberry, and poison ivy.’
    • ‘Oak trees provide acorns, dogwoods and sumac provide red berries through the fall and winter and serviceberry bears edible berries in late spring or early summer.’
    • ‘It only takes one case of poison ivy, oak or sumac to convince most people to stay away from these skin-irritating plants.’
    • ‘Taking the trails at a healthy pace, I rounded the corner on a crop of autumn red sumac when two deer bounded out of their shelter beside me, tufts of snow flying in their wake.’
    • ‘Our biggest loss this year has been the sumach tree which grew outside the dining room window.’
    • ‘The answer lies in the tremendous diversity of deciduous trees: maples, oaks, sumacs and beech each impart their own range of colours to the overall palette.’
    • ‘In October, after the growing season, I had a female sumach tree cut down to ground level.’
    • ‘Among the thousands of species he planted on LaGuardia Place are red and white oak, cedar, elm, birch, sassafras, dogwood, sumac, Virginia creeper and goldenrod.’
    • ‘The most common forms included beech-like trees, poplars, willows, cattails, sumac, soapberry, and conifers such as pines, sequoias, and false cypress.’
    • ‘Irritated summer skin is usually caused by clogged sweat ducts, a condition called prickly heat or miliaria, or by exposure to poison ivy, oak or sumac.’
    • ‘Other locally common tannin-rich plants include blackberry, raspberry, rose, lady's mantle, agrimony, meadowsweet, and strawberry (all members of the rose family), geraniums, purple loosestrife, and sumacs.’
    1. 1.1 The fruits of the Mediterranean sumac, used as a spice, especially in Middle Eastern cuisine.
      • ‘These Middle Eastern breads are topped with a paste of dried thyme and sumac, but you could use dried chilli flakes, chopped garlic, nigella seeds, or crushed cumin and coriander seeds.’
      • ‘The kabob koubideh is composed of ground beef and a considerable amount of minced onion, along with salt, black pepper, turmeric and sumac, and perhaps a hint of lime or lemon juice.’
      • ‘The spice sumac is made from the dried, powdered berries.’
      • ‘Examples are glossy black chokecherry, Siberian and ‘red splendor’ crabapple, snowberry, bittersweet, sumacs, American highbush cranberry, eastern and European wahoo, Virginia creeper and Chinaberry.’
      • ‘With a generous shaking of deep red, citrusy sumac spice, it had a warm and rich taste.’

Origin

Middle English (denoting the dried and ground leaves of R. coriaria used in tanning and dyeing): from Old French sumac or medieval Latin sumac(h), from Arabic summāq.

Pronunciation

sumac

/ˈs(j)uːmak//ˈʃuːmak/