Definition of sumac in English:


Line breaks: sumac
Pronunciation: /ˈs(j)uːmak
, ˈʃuː-/
(also sumach)


  • 1A shrub or small tree with compound leaves, reddish hairy fruits in conical clusters, and bright autumn colours.
    • Genera Rhus and Cotinus, family Anacardiaceae: several species, including the Mediterranean R. coriaria and the North American staghorn sumac (R. typhina), often grown as an ornamental
    More 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.
    More 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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