Definition of sumac in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈs(j)uːmak/
Pronunciation: /ˈʃuːmak/
(also sumach)


1A shrub or small tree with compound leaves, reddish hairy fruits in conical clusters, and bright autumn colours.
Example sentences
  • We also have a staghorn sumac tree and pussy willows.
  • The most common forms included beech-like trees, poplars, willows, cattails, sumac, soapberry, and conifers such as pines, sequoias, and false cypress.
  • Oak trees provide acorns, dogwoods and sumac provide red berries through the fall and winter and serviceberry bears edible berries in late spring or early summer.
1.1The fruits of the Mediterranean sumac, used as a spice, especially in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Example sentences
  • The spice sumac is made from the dried, powdered berries.
  • With a generous shaking of deep red, citrusy sumac spice, it had a warm and rich taste.
  • The kabob koubideh is composed of ground beef and a considerable amount of minced onion, along with salt, black pepper, turmeric and sumac, and perhaps a hint of lime or lemon juice.


Middle English (denoting the dried and ground leaves of R. coriaria used in tanning and dyeing): from Old French sumac or medieval Latin sumac(h), from Arabic summāq.

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