Meaning of tree in English:


Pronunciation /triː/

See synonyms for tree

Translate tree into Spanish


  • 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.

    ‘At the same time, branch-cutting was encouraged to get the tree to grow a single, main trunk.’
    • ‘He wrapped his wings around himself and then leaned back against the trunk of the tree, watching the ground beneath him.’
    • ‘Unlike many plants that grow in trees, epiphytic orchids are not parasites and don't harm the plants on which they grow.’
    • ‘His applications included computing the maximum height a tree can grow.’
    • ‘An advantage of planting deciduous trees is that other plants or small trees can be grown underneath them quite successfully.’
    • ‘In the summer it would be nearly sylvan, and the trees would grow new wood and leaves with branches dropping with fruit.’
    • ‘Some species look like a typical tree, with a single trunk growing from earthbound roots.’
    • ‘Branches hang into the village from trees growing outside - trees we used for fresh fruit and safety.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Each house has a short wall built of bricks with branches of green trees stretching outside the walls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A branch from the tallest tree, the one at the top tier of the backyard, swung out almost over us.’
    • ‘There is one painting of a dead cedar tree, with a blackish, twisted upside-down tornado on a warm desert hillside.’
    • ‘He does not believe that only trees which have crossed their natural lifespans are falling down.’
    • ‘This was especially so in the prairies and plains, where a scarcity of trees made wooden fencing impractical.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On either side of the wooden house were the mere structures of two large trees with no leaves visible.’
    • ‘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.’
    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. 2.1 archaic, literary The cross on which Christ was crucified.
    2. 2.2 archaic A gibbet.
  • 3A thing that has a branching structure resembling that of a tree.

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

verbverb trees, verb treeing, verb treed

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

    ‘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.’
    • ‘But when you finally drag yourself up to where the lion is treed, it's a spectacular sight.’
    • ‘Hunting dogs have an easier time treeing a raccoon than forcing it out of a burrow.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘Billy knows this is not true, because his dogs have only treed three coons in one night.’
    • ‘In this arresting poem, she describes treeing a raccoon at night and capturing it on film.’
    • ‘Ain't never been caught, he ain't ever been treed.’
    • ‘He treed the bruin with the aid of a greenhorn companion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They have a coon treed and it is a good thing, because Billy needs one more coon to win the hunt.’
    • ‘He was treed by bloodhounds in the swamp on the outskirts of my holdings.’
    1. 1.1mainly US 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!’


    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
    • Completely stupid; mad.

      • ‘Be prepared to be bored out of your tree for three whole hours.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He served us very well as a player but anyone who would even contemplate his appointment has to be out of his tree.’
      • ‘You can tell a mile off, from the above description, that the chances are that this man will be entirely out of his tree.’
      • ‘The host's girlfriend is spectacularly out of her tree and makes no sense whatsoever, but is easily the most entertaining person present.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 would never do anything else except weekends when we'd go party and he would get gooned out of his tree!’
      • ‘At least, I don't imagine he's been sitting at home, bored out of his tree this whole time.’
    up a tree
    mainly North American 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’.