a. A perennial woody plant having a main trunk and usually a distinct crown.
b. An herbaceous plant or shrub resembling a tree in form or size.
a. Something that resembles a tree in form, especially a diagram or arrangement that has branches showing relationships of hierarchy or lineage.
b. Computers A structure for organizing or classifying data in which every item can be traced to a single origin through a unique path.
a. A wooden beam, post, stake, or bar used as part of a framework or structure.
b. A saddletree.
a. A gallows.
b. The cross on which Jesus was crucified.
tr.v. treed, tree·ing, treesIdiom:
1. To force up a tree: Dogs treed the raccoon.
2. Informal To force into a difficult position; corner: the reporters finally treed the mayor.
3. To supply or cover with trees: a hillside that is treed with oaks.
up a treeInformal
In a situation of great difficulty or perplexity; helpless.
[Middle English, from Old English trēow; see deru- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.