Definition of eucalyptus in US English:


(also eucalypt)

nounPlural eucalyptuses, Plural eucalypti

  • 1A fast-growing evergreen Australasian tree that has been widely introduced elsewhere. It is valued for its timber, oil, gum, resin, and as an ornamental tree.

    Genus Eucalyptus, family Myrtaceae: numerous species

    Also called gum, gum tree
    • ‘Strips of light streamed through forests of eucalyptuses and towering mountain ash.’
    • ‘Petaurids feed on insects and on the sap and gum of eucalypts and acacias.’
    • ‘After an hour, we reached the first hills, dotted with the eucalyptus groves that flank the mountain.’
    • ‘They won't come to see rows of monotonous pines and eucalypts.’
    • ‘That is where you've got grazing land largely, and it appears that the woody vegetation, trees, eucalypts and acacias, native pines and other shrubs, are becoming denser and denser.’
    • ‘Aromatic scents of eucalypts and heath plants wafted up from the plains.’
    • ‘I will not mention all of them, but a lot of native species, eucalypts, wattles, and quite a number of exotic softwoods and hardwoods, are suitable.’
    • ‘Dr Hughes, from your studies what's likely to happen to Australia's eucalypts?’
    • ‘No other continent is so dominated by one genus of tree as Australia is by eucalypts.’
    • ‘Can anyone advise me as to whether or not rhododendrons will grow/thrive under eucalypts?’
    • ‘He said authorities in the past introduced pioneer species such as acacias and eucalypts that adapted quickly to badly eroded areas on barren land.’
    • ‘That explains our eucalypts and tea trees, with their large open flowers full of nectar.’
    • ‘I looked up and saw that the trees I was standing under were eucalypts, which had released their oily, pungent aroma into the wet air.’
    • ‘At about 1:30 in the afternoon, wind-fanned flames leapt to the tops of the native eucalypts and imported pines, igniting them.’
    • ‘Avenues of mallee eucalypts could lead to a big future for Mid West farmers.’
    • ‘Quick-growing wattles and eucalypts (gum trees) spread through the country for a multitude of uses on farms, mines, and railways and became a mark of habitation.’
    • ‘I roll my swag out under the shady trees along the creek; it's a chain of deep waterholes fringed by spiky pandanus and smooth white eucalypts.’
    • ‘In fact, where the karakas were supposed to be there was a plantation of eucalypts.’
    • ‘Standing under a eucalyptus tree, we are looking up at a koala.’
    • ‘The plethora of uses for eucalypts takes up a fair bit of space, as does a discussion of ways to adapt agriculture to a new, more sustainable way of thinking.’
    1. 1.1 The oil from eucalyptus leaves, chiefly used for its medicinal properties.
      • ‘Six drops each of eucalyptus oil and lavender oil mixed together and massaged into the painful area will also help.’
      • ‘Glue, methylated spirit, eucalyptus oil, detergent, bleach and varnish are all examples of commonly used hazardous substances.’
      • ‘Wherever possible, try to simply deter ants by sprinkling eucalyptus oil or crushed garlic cloves along their paths.’
      • ‘Apparently the sun releases the eucalyptus oil in the leaves, which causes the blue haze over the region.’
      • ‘Among Kangaroo Island's earliest industries, apart from the whaling and sealing, were shipbuilding, salt harvesting, quarrying and the production of eucalyptus oil.’
      • ‘A suitable rub for stiff areas can be made up as follows: 2 drops eucalyptus oil; 2 drops oil of wintergreen; 5 drops lavender oil; 3 drops rosemary oil; 1 drop black pepper oil.’
      • ‘Instead of using fabric softener and to deter clothes moths, rinse your clothes with a solution made from 2 litres of white vinegar and 50 ml of eucalyptus oil, shaken.’
      • ‘One drop of peppermint, lavender, chamomile or eucalyptus oil can be diluted in a teaspoon of almond oil and then rubbed into the skin at the temples, neck or shoulder muscles and/or inhaled.’
      • ‘Substances that cats find aversive include citronella, perfumes, solid air fresheners, citrus, aloe, and eucalyptus oil.’
      • ‘These preparations may reduce coughing and usually contain menthol, camphor and eucalyptus oil.’
      • ‘You can also get quick relief from the pain of insect bites by applying eucalyptus oil to sore and swollen areas.’
      • ‘For washing woollens and other clothes, mix four cups of pure soap flakes with two cups of methylated spirits and one tablespoon of eucalyptus oil.’
      • ‘If curtains are too heavy for your machine, mouldy areas should first be rubbed with eucalyptus oil, left for a few hours, and then wiped clean with a damp cloth.’
      • ‘Holistic practitioners use eucalyptus to treat respiratory problems, such as coughs, colds, and asthma.’
      • ‘Eucalyptus oil is excellent for clearing a stuffy nose and for relieving muscular pain.’
      • ‘For example, when a client has epilepsy, eucalyptus oil cannot be used due to its stimulating effect on the brain.’
      • ‘Use eucalyptus to remove sticky marks from objects.’
      • ‘Substances such as menthol, wintergreen oil, eucalyptus oil, or turpentine cause cool or hot sensations that can temporarily relieve or cover up pain.’
      • ‘Wipe adhesive labels gently with methylated spirits and a few drops of eucalyptus oil to remove from plastic, glass and other surfaces.’
      • ‘A cup of white vinegar or one capful of eucalyptus oil may be added to the soapy water as a disinfectant and freshener.’


Modern Latin, from Greek eu ‘well’ + kaluptos ‘covered’ (from kaluptein ‘to cover’), because the unopened flower is protected by a cap.