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tree (n.)

古英语 treo, treow “树” (也有“木材, 木头, 梁, 原木, 木桩” ), 来自于原日耳曼语 *trewam (也是古弗里斯兰语 tre, 古撒克逊语 trio, 古北欧语 tre, 哥特语 triu “树” 的源头), 来自于PIE *drew-o-, 是根 *deru- “要牢固, 坚实, 坚定” 的后缀变体形式, 有专门的意义“木头, 树”, 派生词指木头做的物体.

The line which divides trees from shrubs is largely arbitrary, and dependent upon habit rather than size, the tree having a single trunk usually unbranched for some distance above the ground, while a shrub has usually several stems from the same root and each without a proper trunk. [Century Dictionary]

原意为“橡树” 的词在“树” 的意义上的广泛使用, 可能反映了橡树对古代印欧人的重要性. 在古英语和中英语中也有“木头做的东西”, 特别是十字架的十字架和绞刑架(如 Tyburn tree, 伦敦郊外著名的绞刑架). 中古英语也有复数 treen, 形容词 treen (古英语 treowen “树的, 木的” ). 荷兰语 boom, 德语 Baum, “树” 的惯用词, 见 beam (n.). 意为“马鞍的框架”, 出自1530年代. 意思是“以树的形式代表家庭关系” 是从14世纪开始的. Tree-hugger, 对“环保主义者” 的蔑视是由1989年证明的.

Minc'd Pyes do not grow upon every tree,
But search the Ovens for them, and there they be.
[“Poor Robin,” Almanack, 1669]

tree (v.)

“追上一棵树”, 1700年, 出自 tree (n.). 意为“取树形”, 出自1884年. 相关链接: Treed; treeing.

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Definitions of tree from WordNet
1
tree (v.)
force a person or an animal into a position from which he cannot escape;
Synonyms: corner
tree (v.)
plant with trees;
this lot should be treed so that the house will be shaded in summer
tree (v.)
chase an animal up a tree;
her dog likes to tree squirrels
the hunters treed the bear with dogs and killed it
tree (v.)
stretch (a shoe) on a shoetree;
Synonyms: shoetree
2
tree (n.)
a tall perennial woody plant having a main trunk and branches forming a distinct elevated crown; includes both gymnosperms and angiosperms;
tree (n.)
a figure that branches from a single root;
genealogical tree
Synonyms: tree diagram
3
Tree (n.)
English actor and theatrical producer noted for his lavish productions of Shakespeare (1853-1917);
Synonyms: Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
From wordnet.princeton.edu