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Related to ailanthuses: genus Ailanthus


Any of several deciduous Asian trees of the genus Ailanthus, especially the tree of heaven.

[New Latin Ailanthus, genus name coined (perhaps with influence from Greek anthos, flower) by French botanist René Louiche Desfontaines (1750-1833) from a source in one of the Malayo-Polynesian languages of the coast and islands of Piru Bay, Seram, such as ai lanit, (term used on the south Seram coast), literally "sky tree," the tall tropical Asian tree tree Ailanthus integrifolia : ai, tree (from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *kahiw; see cajeput) + lanit, sky (akin to Malay langit, from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *laŋit, of Proto-Austronesian origin).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -thuses
(Plants) an E Asian simaroubaceous deciduous tree, Ailanthus altissima, planted in Europe and North America, having pinnate leaves, small greenish flowers, and winged fruits. Also called: tree of heaven
[C19: New Latin, from native name (in Amboina) ai lanto tree (of) the gods]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(eɪˈlæn θəs)

n., pl. -thus•es.
any of several wide-spreading trees of the genus Ailanthus, of the quassia family, with long leaves and dense flower clusters, esp. A. altissima (tree of heaven), an urban shade tree.
[1788; < New Latin Ailantus, Ailanthus < Central Moluccan ai lanit(o), ai lanit(e)=ai tree, wood + lanit sky]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ailanthus - any of several deciduous Asian trees of the genus Ailanthusailanthus - any of several deciduous Asian trees of the genus Ailanthus
genus Ailanthus - small genus of east Asian and Chinese trees with odd-pinnate leaves and long twisted samaras
Ailanthus altissima, tree of heaven, tree of the gods - deciduous rapidly growing tree of China with foliage like sumac and sweetish fetid flowers; widely planted in United States as a street tree because of its resistance to pollution
angiospermous tree, flowering tree - any tree having seeds and ovules contained in the ovary
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