General English


  • noun a plant typically with one main woody stem that may grow to a great height


  • A diagram or other graphic representation which describes, lists, or otherwise represents in branching subunits a hierarchical structure of paths or alternatives. Examples include folder trees and decision trees.
  • A circuit or network with multiple branches, but no meshes.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a diagram of a hierarchical structure that shows the relationships between components as branches.
  • noun a hierarchical data structure in which each element contains data and may be linked by branches to two or more other elements


  • noun cannabis, marihuana. A predictable borrowing of the word by college students and others, perhaps influenced by the earlier use of bush.

Origin & History of “tree”

Tree is part of an ancient and widespread family of ‘tree’-words that goes back ultimately to Indo-European *deru, *doru-. this appears originally to have designated specifically the ‘oak’, rather than ‘tree’ in general, an application retained by some of its descendants: Greek drūs, for instance (source of English dryad (14th c.)), and Welsh derwen (a possible relative of English druid). From it came Germanic *trewam, which has evolved into Swedish träd, Danish træ, and English tree. other English words from the same source include tray (OE) (etymologically a ‘wooden’ vessel), trough, and possibly tar.