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c.1300, "preparation of dried, chopped leaves of a plant of the genus Rhus" (used in tanning and dyeing and as an astringent), from Old French sumac (13c.), from Medieval Latin sumach, from Arabic summaq, from Syrian summaq "red." Later applied to a North American plant species.
sumac su·mac or su·mach (sōō'māk, shōō'-)
Any of various shrubs or small trees of the genus Rhus, having compound leaves, clusters of small greenish flowers, and usually red, hairy fruit. Some species, such as the poison ivy and poison oak, cause an acute itching rash on contact.