Definition of elm in English:


(also elm tree)


  • A tall deciduous tree that typically has rough serrated leaves and propagates from root suckers.

    • ‘I dodged trees, oaks and maples and elms and the occasional sparse, skinny willow, in order to catch up with her.’
    • ‘They are attracted specially by mature oaks and elms scattered about country parks but also visit orchards and alder carrs.’
    • ‘As he went farther in and drew nearer to the heart of the forest, the tall oaks and elms closed in around him.’
    • ‘The flora is dominated by Sequoia, cypresses, elms, oaks, willows, and cottonwoods.’
    • ‘For that reason many of the older trees in the Gardens, such as sycamores, oaks and elms were imported from England.’
    • ‘After the house was demolished in the Seventies for new housing, the remaining grounds ran wild until all that was left of the original wood was self-seeded sycamore trees and dead elms.’
    • ‘The Asian longhorned beetle that invaded New York in 1996 has since killed thousands of the state's hardwood trees, including maples, elms, willows, and poplars.’
    • ‘A large grassy meadow surrounded by elms and willow, just past the building, was partly filled with folding metal chairs and tables, and decorations hung from ropes tied to the tree limbs.’
    • ‘Beyond the pane of glass, oaks, elms, and maples are a swelling tide of green, lapping to and fro in hardworking winds.’
    • ‘The beetles' affinity for certain trees, like maples, poplars, willows, and elms, is significant because such attractive species may be used as sentinel trees.’
    • ‘See any elms or oak trees or other non-native species?’
    • ‘It grows on trees, particularly elms, in open situations such as hedges or parklands.’
    • ‘The trees are also familiar, these most impressive oaks, maples, elms and ash, for they somehow survive the hardship of an urban landscape.’
    • ‘They'll be squawking from the lindens, elms, and maples where cicadas sang during summer days.’
    • ‘Suppose you are like me and cannot tell an elm tree from a beech tree.’
    • ‘The sugar maples, elms, and oaks he has handed out over the last three decades now grow in lawns, fields and parks throughout northwestern Pennsylvania.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On watching them, I also spotted a patch between the roots of a nearby elm tree where a pillow of liverwort grew.’
    • ‘In the past he has been involved with replacing ‘landmark’ trees in other villages, including the elm tree in Elm Tree Square, Embsay, and a sycamore in the centre of Langcliffe.’
    • ‘Oriental plane trees, cypresses and elms were planted in straight rows to provide structure and shade, while groves of fruit trees added colour and scent, with blossom in spring and summer and fruit at harvest time.’


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to German dialect Ilm, and Swedish and Norwegian alm.