[bon-sahy, -zahy, bohn-, bon-sahy, -zahy, bohn-]
noun, plural bonsai.
a tree or shrub that has been dwarfed, as by pruning the roots and pinching, and is grown in a pot or other container and trained to produce a desired shape or effect.
the art or hobby of developing and growing such a plant or plants.

1945–50; < Japanese bon-sai tray planting < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese pén tray + zāi plant, shoot

banzai, bonsai. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bonsai (ˈbɒnsaɪ)
n , pl -sai
1.  the art of growing dwarfed ornamental varieties of trees or shrubs in small shallow pots or trays by selective pruning, etc
2.  a tree or shrub grown by this method
[C20: Japanese: plant grown in a pot, from bon basin, bowl + sai to plant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1950, from Japanese bon "basin, pot" + sai "to plant."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The display of leafless bonsai trees shows of the plants' branch structure.
Related Words
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