Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several deciduous Asiatic trees, of the genus Ailanthus, including the tree of heaven

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

New Latin Ailanthus, genus name, alteration (influenced by Greek anthos, flower) of Ambonese ai lanto, tree of heaven : ai, tree + lanto, heaven.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From New Latin Ailanthus, from Ambonese ai lanto ("tree (of) heaven")

Examples

  • "I am sure I told you that they would not live here in the open air, but they do in China; and the ailanthus is a Chinese tree.

    Among the Trees at Elmridge

  • A giant ailanthus tree, at least fifty feet tall, was growing up right between the derelict seats.

    The Lampshade

  • People walking their dogs go by or wait while their inquisitive pets sniff around the ailanthus in front of the house.

    David Finkle: Stooping to the Highest Level

  • I was hoping to find a crack in the pavement where my ailanthus of a poem could take root.

    THE ANTHOLOGIST

  • I crossed a vacant lot, a parking lot filled with cinders and broken glass and longed for an ailanthus tree to break the prison-gray walls and ground all around.

    All the Way to Heaven is Heaven

  • When I read how many thousands of dollars a city like New York has to spend to keep underground water pipes free of ailanthus, ginko, and sycamore roots, I cannot help but give a little cheer.

    Nature & Environment

  • They saw the ailanthus jungle and the smash heap of mortified cars and they looked at the six-story slab of painted angels with streamers rippled above their cherub heads.

    Underworld

  • Close-set buildings, laundry lines, slant light, patches of weeds, a few would-be gardens and bare ailanthus trees and the fire escapes that fixed fretwork patterns of light and shade on the walls and paved surfaces.

    Underworld

  • Edgar looked out a window and saw someone moving among the poplars and ailanthus trees in the most overgrown part of the rubbled lots.

    Underworld

  • But she has a huge pine, a wild, rambling rose bush that hasn't been pruned in decades, weed trees like ailanthus, walnut, and a scrubby little maple, and she never mows.

    Every cloud has a silver lining.

Comments

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  • "Booth remained on his horse under the cover of a shaggy ailanthus tree in the yard."

    —James L. Swanson, Manhunt: The 12-Day Search for Lincoln's Killer, 164

    May 29, 2008