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

  • n. A shrub (Toxicodendron vernix syn. Rhus vernix) typically of swampy habitats in eastern North America, having compound leaves and greenish-white berries and causing an itching rash on contact with the skin.
  • n. A skin rash caused by contact with this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woody shrub or small tree, all parts of which cause irritation to humans; Rhus vernix or Toxicodendron vernix.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a poisonous shrub formerly considered to be of the genus Rhus (Rhus venenata), but now classified as Toxicodendron vernix; -- also called poison ash, poison dogwood, and poison elder. It has pinnate leaves on graceful and slender common petioles, and usually grows in swampy places. Both this plant and the poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans, formerly Rhus Toxicodendron) have clusters of smooth greenish white berries, while the red-fruited species of this genus are harmless. The tree (Rhus vernicifera) which yields the celebrated Japan lacquer is almost identical with the poison sumac, and is also very poisonous. The juice of the poison sumac also forms a lacquer similar to that of Japan.
  • n. See under Poison.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small handsome tree, Rhus venenata, of swamp-borders in eastern North America.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. dermatitis resulting from contact with a poison sumac plant
  • n. smooth American swamp shrub with pinnate leaves and greenish flowers followed by greenish white berries; yields an irritating oil


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