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c.1300, from Old English mapultreow "maple tree," also mapolder, mapuldre, related to Old Norse möpurr, Old Saxon mapulder, Middle Low German mapeldorn, from Proto-Germanic *maplo-. There also was a Proto-Germanic *matlo- (cf. Old High German mazzaltra, German maszholder), but the connection and origins are mysterious. Formerly with adjectival form mapelin (early 15c.; Old English mapuldern). Maple syrup attested from 1824, American English. The maple leaf is mentioned as the emblem of Canada from 1850.