Definition of tree in English:



  • 1A woody perennial plant, typically having a single stem or trunk growing to a considerable height and bearing lateral branches at some distance from the ground.

    • ‘The avenue was a natural vault, with the denuded branches of old trees arching and lacing overhead.’
    • ‘Brass snaps impart a utilitarian elegance, and its hook hangs as easily from a bathroom door as from the branches of a baobab tree.’
    • ‘Some species look like a typical tree, with a single trunk growing from earthbound roots.’
    • ‘On either side of the wooden house were the mere structures of two large trees with no leaves visible.’
    • ‘Each house has a short wall built of bricks with branches of green trees stretching outside the walls.’
    • ‘Unlike many plants that grow in trees, epiphytic orchids are not parasites and don't harm the plants on which they grow.’
    • ‘He does not believe that only trees which have crossed their natural lifespans are falling down.’
    • ‘In the summer it would be nearly sylvan, and the trees would grow new wood and leaves with branches dropping with fruit.’
    • ‘A branch from the tallest tree, the one at the top tier of the backyard, swung out almost over us.’
    • ‘His applications included computing the maximum height a tree can grow.’
    • ‘As a small child, she once hid for four hours in the branches of a garden tree watching her mother's frantic efforts to find her as the evening turned to dusk.’
    • ‘He then drew an axe from the sack on his back and walked down to the trees to make a wooden stretcher on which to tie the deer's carcass.’
    • ‘Branches hang into the village from trees growing outside - trees we used for fresh fruit and safety.’
    • ‘The plum tree in our garden is covered in blossom, as are the trees outside my office window.’
    • ‘The house was on a hill and there weren't many trees or hedges to shelter it from the wind.’
    • ‘There is one painting of a dead cedar tree, with a blackish, twisted upside-down tornado on a warm desert hillside.’
    • ‘An advantage of planting deciduous trees is that other plants or small trees can be grown underneath them quite successfully.’
    • ‘This was especially so in the prairies and plains, where a scarcity of trees made wooden fencing impractical.’
    • ‘He wrapped his wings around himself and then leaned back against the trunk of the tree, watching the ground beneath him.’
    • ‘At the same time, branch-cutting was encouraged to get the tree to grow a single, main trunk.’
    1. 1.1 (in general use) any bush, shrub, or herbaceous plant with a tall erect stem, e.g. a banana plant.
  • 2A wooden structure or part of a structure.

    1. 2.1literary, archaic The cross on which Christ was crucified.
    2. 2.2archaic A gibbet.
  • 3A thing that has a branching structure resembling that of a tree.

    • ‘A tree is an organizational structure that has some useful properties for that purpose.’
    • ‘Conversation is done using a hyperlink tree, and navigation through the topics is relatively easy.’
    • ‘We then add our own RPMs to the tree, modify the various control structures in the tree and cut a CD.’
    • ‘As you build up the GUI, the design tree reflects the widget hierarchy.’
    • ‘XML documents are trees, which should ring a bell for those of you who studied computer science in college.’
    • ‘Then we write the contents of welcome, which contains a DOM tree, to the HTTP response object.’
    • ‘However, this code will change the structure of the document tree.’
    • ‘Both structure-based trees are moderately resolved with very short internal branches.’
    • ‘Thus, each device in the tree has pointers to structures for the type of chip and the individual instance of the chip.’
    • ‘It would be interesting to get data on how widespread the practice of parallel source code trees is outside the Linux project.’
    • ‘Thick vertical lines along the species tree indicate taxa whose P elements are not monophyletic.’
    • ‘To this point, we have discussed the learning of qualitative models represented as qualitative trees.’
    • ‘Several methods are used here to help understand the similarity of trees from different data sets.’
    • ‘A computer can only wander blindly along the branches of the search tree, until it stumbles across a sequence of moves that may prove beneficial.’
    • ‘Each level in the tree is represented in a buffer, and you can manipulate Customize buffers as usual.’
    • ‘All other trees based on different algorithms gave similar results.’
    1. 3.1 A diagram with a structure of branching connecting lines, representing different processes and relationships.
      • ‘The phylogenetic tree shows the genealogical relationships among nine eukaryotes.’
      • ‘I adapted the tree diagram into something approximating a bowl of chicken noodle soup.’
      • ‘Another representation of population relationships is a tree diagram based on genetic distances.’
      • ‘It differs from glottochronology in the methods used to construct the tree and compute the dates.’
      • ‘The birth-death process tends to generate trees with long internal branches.’
      • ‘This growth pattern tends to make the tableau look like a tree diagram or organizational chart.’
      • ‘Some of you may remember Acts One, Two and Three of this drama which began with the Townhouse Owners Association meeting and ended with me sitting in front of the computer doing a tree diagram of the property in Photoshop.’
      • ‘It is famously understood that Darwin used a tree diagram to represent evolutionary relationships.’
      • ‘Figure 4 displays the outcome in a classification tree diagram.’
      • ‘In the diagram below, the dashed lines in the tree are the problem: do they branch exactly as shown?’
      • ‘These measures are based on the structure of the product trees for different brands.’
      • ‘It gets a bit clumsy showing the generational relationships with brackets - a tree diagram gives a clearer picture as the generations continue.’


[with object]
  • 1North American Force (a hunted animal) to take refuge in a tree.

    • ‘Ain't never been caught, he ain't ever been treed.’
    • ‘Hunting dogs have an easier time treeing a raccoon than forcing it out of a burrow.’
    • ‘But when you finally drag yourself up to where the lion is treed, it's a spectacular sight.’
    • ‘He treed the bruin with the aid of a greenhorn companion.’
    • ‘The Pritchard boys tell Billy to just give up, as no dog has ever treed the coon, but Billy refuses: ‘I told them I wasn't giving up until my dogs did.’’
    • ‘In this arresting poem, she describes treeing a raccoon at night and capturing it on film.’
    • ‘Last week residents of midtown Palo Alto, California, were warned of a cougar on the prowl in their neighborhood, where another big cat was treed and shot last May.’
    • ‘They have a coon treed and it is a good thing, because Billy needs one more coon to win the hunt.’
    • ‘Old Dan and Little Ann were chasing a coon when they finally treed it.’
    • ‘Not only had it gone a long time without treeing, but its prints were unusually large and oddly shaped.’
    • ‘Billy knows this is not true, because his dogs have only treed three coons in one night.’
    • ‘He was treed by bloodhounds in the swamp on the outskirts of my holdings.’
    1. 1.1US informal Force (someone) into a difficult situation.
      • ‘Then the original cat treed him up the kitchen chair.’
      • ‘I want that filthy vamp found, treed, and worried to bits!’
  • 2as adjective treed(of an area) planted with trees.

    ‘sparsely treed grasslands’
    • ‘No part of the treed yard got more than three hours of sun.’
    • ‘They expect to find the whole area intensely wooded, unaware that the word originally meant an area of land, wild, uncultivated and largely treed.’
    • ‘He explains that finding suitable locations for disc golf is a challenge because they prefer heavily treed, undulating areas, most of which are in the river valley.’
    • ‘Well over half of the terrain is steep and lightly treed - perfect for off-piste riding in the pow.’
    • ‘Elizabeth stood on the deck and looked out, beyond the nursery, across the flats, to the sloping hills, all treed and dotted with houses.’
    • ‘The property itself is very well treed providing a lovely haven for our feathered friends.’
    • ‘The neglected backyard is below, and to its left are the neighbouring gardens and the posh houses and treed and bushed gardens beyond.’
    • ‘A forest fire in a thickly treed area of Cypress Bowl in West Vancouver broke out on July 1.’
    • ‘I can't take much more altitude lost as I'm down to 2,600 ' not far above the treed hillside.’
    • ‘It was a very small island, but well treed.’
    • ‘It takes 40 minutes to drive to the beach or 35 minutes to get to Kyogle's green, shady, treed public pool that caters for toddlers.’
    • ‘Instead the parking garage, which was originally going to be a flat, treed space for 120 cars, will now cater for 300 cars.’
    • ‘We hunted and hunted and finally found him playing in the dirt in the treed field.’
    • ‘The view seems idyllic - a broad expanse of glistening lake under a big blue sky, surrounded by treed shoreline.’
    • ‘On a wide coastal plain, a broad river with sparsely treed grasslands on either side meandered towards the foothills.’
    • ‘I backtracked a mile to a treed flat along the river that looked like a good campsite.’
    • ‘In time the word shed its literal association with thick vegetation and was applied generally to any country, open or treed, beyond the settled coast.’
    • ‘All areas that were naturally treed have lost about 30 percent of their canopy cover in the last 25 years.’
    • ‘I headed up the granite and pine treed north shore of Lake Rosseau.’
    • ‘The irregular mosaic of small fields below looked almost universally dry, with the heavily treed hedgerows picked out in a dark green reminiscent of much later in the summer.’


  • be unable to see the wood for the trees

    • Fail to grasp the main issue because of over-attention to details.

      ‘it is often difficult for people in organizations to see the wood for the trees’
  • out of one's tree

    • informal Completely stupid; mad.

      • ‘He would never do anything else except weekends when we'd go party and he would get gooned out of his tree!’
      • ‘They get bored out of their tree and they have nowhere to go.’
      • ‘There he was, completely out of his tree, looking like he'd been dragged through a sewer.’
      • ‘The host's girlfriend is spectacularly out of her tree and makes no sense whatsoever, but is easily the most entertaining person present.’
      • ‘You can tell a mile off, from the above description, that the chances are that this man will be entirely out of his tree.’
      • ‘Now, if you are thinking I'm really out of my tree, just hang on, there is a qualifier at the end of the article.’
      • ‘He served us very well as a player but anyone who would even contemplate his appointment has to be out of his tree.’
      • ‘I get in the backseat, between a trooper and the president, and there's two more in the front seat and I'm stoned out of my tree and we're going to identify Mary Martin's body.’
      • ‘At least, I don't imagine he's been sitting at home, bored out of his tree this whole time.’
      • ‘Be prepared to be bored out of your tree for three whole hours.’
  • up a tree

    • informal In a difficult situation without escape; cornered.

      • ‘My favorite explanation of the three-act structure is this: In the first act, you get your hero up a tree.’


Old English trēow, trēo: from a Germanic variant of an Indo-European root shared by Greek doru ‘wood, spear’, drus ‘oak’.