One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A coniferous tree which has red berrylike fruits, and most parts of which are highly poisonous. Yews are linked with folklore and superstition and can live to a great age; the timber is used in cabinetmaking and (formerly) to make longbows.
Genus Taxus, family Taxaceae: several species, in particular T. baccata of Europe
- ‘The 10-acre garden of cypresses, yews and quickset hedges is called the Domaine des Colombia.’
- ‘The wood from the yew makes excellent bows.’
- ‘They cut away the dead wood, the ivy, the Russian vine, leaving a nearly naked yew and Scots pine, which may well survive and regenerate.’
- ‘Many gardens and parks contain poisonous plants such as yew and laburnum.’
- ‘Junipers and yews are the most commonly planted of the narrow-leaved evergreens.’
- ‘Objections were raised over the removal of the yews.’
- ‘Some ancient yews have been cherished and loved, but many more are under threat, mainly by humans.’
- ‘Although box and yews can be clipped into formal shapes, most shade plants appear at home in that naturalistic setting.’
- ‘The forest at Weston is over 30 acres and contains a whole variety of species but John's favourites are the hard woods like the elm and the yew.’
- ‘Many of the needle evergreens including yew, arborvitae, hemlock, and incense cedar make fine hedges.’
- ‘I will also have to abandon plans for replacing the yew hedge.’
- ‘Species with random branching, such as arborvitae, juniper, yew, and false cypress, have limbs that occur all along the trunk.’
- ‘Clipped yew, beech and hornbeam are lovely.’
- ‘Rev Snuggs claimed just three of the yew tree's poisonous berries would be enough to kill a child.’
- ‘The yews burned.’
- ‘For background planting, especially if you have plenty of space, grow yews, hawthorn, holly, elder and Viburnum opulus, the Guelder rose.’
- ‘However, only three are native to these shores: juniper, Scots pine and yew.’
- ‘The widely used anticancer drug was derived from the Pacific yew, a tree found in temperate rain forests.’
- ‘A total of 23 mature trees - including yew, oak and fir - have been destroyed.’
- ‘A simple circle of juvenile yews will eventually knit together to enclose a calming circle of pure green.’
Old English īw, ēow, of Germanic origin.
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