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[sik-uh-mawr, -mohr] /ˈsɪk əˌmɔr, -ˌmoʊr/
Also called buttonwood. any of several North American plane trees, especially Platanus occidentalis, having shallowly lobed ovate leaves, globular seed heads, and wood valued as timber.
British. the sycamore maple.
a tree, Ficus sycomorus, of the Near East, related to the common fig, bearing an edible fruit.
1300-50; Middle English sicomore < Old French < Latin sȳcomorus < Greek sȳkómoros, equivalent to sŷko(n) fig + mór(on) mulberry + -os noun suffix, apparently by folk etymology < Semitic; compare Hebrew shiqmāh sycamore Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sycamore
  • Loud on the withered leaves of the sycamore-tree by the window.
  • The park is primarily forested, with dense growth of live oak and sycamore trees.
  • sycamore seeds do not require any pretreatment for good germination.
British Dictionary definitions for sycamore


a Eurasian maple tree, Acer pseudoplatanus, naturalized in Britain and North America, having five-lobed leaves, yellow flowers, and two-winged fruits
(US & Canadian) an American plane tree, Platanus occidentalis See plane tree
Also sycomore. a moraceous tree, Ficus sycomorus, of N Africa and W Asia, having an edible figlike fruit
Word Origin
C14: from Old French sicamor, from Latin sӯcomorus, from Greek sukomoros, from sukon fig + moron mulberry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sycamore

mid-14c., from Old French sicamor, from Latin sycomorus, from Greek sykomoros, from sykon "fig" + moron "mulberry." Or perhaps a folk-etymology for Hebrew shiqmah "mulberry." A Biblical word, originally used for a species of fig tree (Ficus sycomorus) common in Egypt, Syria, etc., whose leaves somewhat resemble those of the mulberry; applied from 1580s to Acer pseudoplatanus, a large species of European maple, and from 1814 to the North American shade tree that is also called buttonwood (Platanus occidentalis, introduced to Europe from Virginia 1637 by Filius Tradescant). Some writers have used the more Hellenic sycomore in reference to the Biblical tree for the sake of clarity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sycamore in the Bible

more properly sycomore (Heb. shikmoth and shikmim, Gr. sycomoros), a tree which in its general character resembles the fig-tree, while its leaves resemble those of the mulberry; hence it is called the fig-mulberry (Ficus sycomorus). At Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed a sycomore-tree to see Jesus as he passed by (Luke 19:4). This tree was easily destroyed by frost (Ps. 78:47), and therefore it is found mostly in the "vale" (1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chr. 1:15: in both passages the R.V. has properly "lowland"), i.e., the "low country," the shephelah, where the climate is mild. Amos (7:14) refers to its fruit, which is of an inferior character; so also probably Jeremiah (24:2). It is to be distinguished from our sycamore (the Acer pseudo-platanus), which is a species of maple often called a plane-tree.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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