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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sumac \Su"mac\, Sumach \Su"mach\, n. [F. sumac, formerly sumach (cf. Sp. zumaque), fr. Ar. summ[=a]q.] [Written also shumac.]

  1. (Bot.) Any plant of the genus Rhus, shrubs or small trees with usually compound leaves and clusters of small flowers. Some of the species are used in tanning, some in dyeing, and some in medicine. One, the Japanese Rhus vernicifera, yields the celebrated Japan varnish, or lacquer.

  2. The powdered leaves, peduncles, and young branches of certain species of the sumac plant, used in tanning and dyeing.

    Poison sumac. (Bot.) See under Poison.


n. (alternative spelling of sumac English)


n. a shrub or tree of the genus Rhus (usually limited to the non-poisonous members of the genus) [syn: sumac, shumac]

Usage examples of "sumach".

From rocks around hung the loose ivy dangling, And in the clefts sumach of liveliest green, Bright ising-stars the little beach was spangling, The gold-cup sorrel from his gauzy screen Shone like a fairy crown, enchased and beaded, Left on some morn, when light flashed in their eyes unheeded.

The 'Poison Elder' of America is again no Elder, but a Sumach, its other name being Swamp Sumach, botanically Rhus verni (Linn.