1. A deciduous North American tree (Prunus serotina) of the rose family, having drooping elongate clusters of white flowers and blackish, bitter fruits.
2. The close-grained, reddish-brown wood of this tree, used especially for furniture, cabinets, and musical instruments.
3. The edible fruit of this tree, used for making jam.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.