Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The wood of the shittah-tree, prized among the Hebrews, and, according to Exodus and Deuteronomy, furnishing the material of the ark of the covenant and various parts of the tabernacle. It is hard, tough, durable, and susceptible of a fine polish.
  • n. A tree, Bumelia lanuginosa, of the southern United States, yielding a wood used to some extent in cabinet-making, and a gum, called gum-elastic, of some domestic use. The small western tree Rhamnus Purshiana is also so called.

Etymologies

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Examples

  • O fitting place and appropriate for a library, which was made of imperishable shittim-wood, and was all covered within and without with gold!

    The Love of Books : The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury

  • The other less, made of shittim-wood, all overlaid with pure gold, and a crown of beaten gold upon it, on which they were to burn pure incense unto the Lord always.

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • It is not, however, of porches of shittim-wood and of gold, that I mean to talk just now -- nor even of those elaborate architectural features which will belong of necessity to the entrance-way of every complete study of a country house.

    Choice Specimens of American Literature, and Literary Reader Being Selections from the Chief American Writers

  • As is said, (594) ‘thou shalt make a vail,’ etc., ‘and thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim-wood, overlaid with gold,’ etc., and ‘thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches.’

    Hebrew Literature

  • On the east there was no board, but there were four pillars of shittim-wood.

    Hebrew Literature

  • Every day he took his little shittim-wood boats down to the water, tied strings to them, and let them float hither and thither on the crystal bosom of the tide.

    The Holy Cross and Other Tales

  • Of all absurdities, this of some foreigner, proposing to take away my rhetoric, and substitute his own, and amuse me with pelican and stork, instead of thrush and robin; palm-trees and shittim-wood, instead of sassafras and hickory, -- seems the most needless. '

    Representative Man (1850)

  • The stone furze ditches are scarcely bolder instances of the catachresis than the stone tables of shittim-wood.

    Tales and Novels — Volume 04

  • Harrison, observed of Moses 'two _tables of stone_, that they were made of _shittim-wood_.

    Tales and Novels — Volume 04

  • The ark was made 'of shittim-wood, two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.'

    Works of John Bunyan — Volume 03

Comments

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  • "All we hope for to do now is to go quietly home with what we have, and if we get there we mean to build a tabernacle of shittim-wood for our chapel—you know our chapel, sir?"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 214

    March 7, 2008