One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large Eurasian maple with winged fruits, native to central and southern Europe. It is planted as a fast-growing ornamental but tends to displace native trees.
Acer pseudoplatanus, family Aceraceae
- ‘I write to thank you for the recent article in your paper regarding my battle to save my 100-year-old sycamore.’
- ‘The main crops my bees feed themselves on are sycamore, but there is quite a profusion of different flowers in the area, along with clover and heather.’
- ‘Spruce, larch and sycamore have already been felled from the site to favour oaks, yews and birches to leave the best spruce to grow on.’
- ‘Most of the track is elegantly lined with cherry, silver birch and sycamore, in avenue style.’
- ‘Indigenous oak, elm, birch and ash forests are no longer under threat from development but from the intrusion of species such as sycamore and beech, which migrated to the country in the middle ages.’
2North American The buttonwood tree.
- ‘The undulating landscape of lawns, palms, sycamores, blackthorns and acacias was interspersed with gazebos and pseudo-Moorish limestone structures that house the coffee shop and seating areas.’
- ‘He planned to have an avenue of oaks on the west, of birches on the east, and of sycamores and poplars on the other boundaries of the village.’
- ‘Among the 68 trees to be cut are American elms, sycamores, tulip poplars, a couple of Yoshino cherries, a dogwood, and one cucumber magnolia.’
- ‘Neerly 20,000 seeds of walnut, chestnut, ash, oaks, sycamores, pines, willows and bamboos were put in.’
- ‘Spanish chestnuts, sycamores, willows, elms and oaks, to name but a few, located in every county have been studied, measured and observed in an attempt to find the champion of champions.’
- ‘He knows what the moss looks like, how high it grows around the base of an oak and how thickly it will cling to a sycamore.’
- ‘Fitzgerald began by planting windbreaks of Monteray pine and cypress, sycamore and escallonia to protect an amazing collection of plants from the southern hemisphere.’
- ‘It's apple harvest time, and the cool nights begin to color the oaks, sycamores, and aspens red, orange, and gold, complementing the rust and ocher hues of those famous rock formations.’
- ‘The 16 biggest additions to the Register are all hardwoods: a sycamore, a cottonwood, an elm, 12 oaks, and an introduced eucalyptus.’
- ‘Plants that grow along the stream banks include alder, Fremont cottonwood, sycamore, honey mesquite, and Goodding willow.’
3(in biblical use) a fig tree that grows in the Middle East.
Ficus sycomorus, family Moraceae
- ‘The sycomore fig was of outstanding importance in ancient Egypt.’
- ‘The fruit of the sycamore fig is not grown commercially.’
Middle English: from Old French sic(h)amor, via Latin from Greek sukomoros, from sukon ‘fig’ + moron ‘mulberry’.
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