American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See euonymus.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A European shrub or small tree, Euonymus Europæa (E. vulgaris), growing in hedge-rows, on borders of woods, etc. It is so called from the use of its hard fine-grained wood in making spindles, and other uses have given it the names prick-timber, skewer-wood, and pegwood. It is one of the dogwoods. The name is carried over to the American E. atropurpurea, the wahoo or burning-bush, and to the Japanese E. Japonica; it is also extended to the genus, and even to the order (Celastrineæ).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) any shrub or tree of the genus Eunymus. The wood of E. Europæus was used for spindles and skewers. See Prickwood.
- n. any shrubby trees or woody vines of the genus Euonymus having showy usually reddish berries
- So called because the wood is often used to make spindles. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The curious thing is that we often encounter solitary trees: a single elder by the track, a spindle tree and its bright pink berries, a lone rope of traveller’s joy hoisted over a hazel bush.”
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