[soo-mak, shoo-]
any of several shrubs or small trees belonging to the genus Rhus of the cashew family, having milky sap, compound leaves, and small, fleshy fruit.
a preparation of the dried and powdered leaves, bark, etc., of certain species of Rhus, especially R. coriaria of southern Europe, used especially in tanning.
the wood of these trees.
Also, sumach.

1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin < Arabic summāq Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sumach or (US) sumac (ˈsuːmæk, ˈʃuː-, ˈsuːmæk, ˈʃuː-)
1.  See also poison sumach any temperate or subtropical shrub or small tree of the anacardiaceous genus Rhus, having compound leaves, clusters of green flowers, and red hairy fruits
2.  a preparation of powdered leaves of certain species of Rhus, esp R. coriaria, used in dyeing and tanning
3.  the wood of any of these plants
[C14: via Old French from Arabic summāq]
sumac or (US) sumac
[C14: via Old French from Arabic summāq]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "preparation of dried, chopped leaves of a plant of the genus Rhus" (used in tanning and dyeing and as an astringent), from O.Fr. sumac (13c.), from M.L. sumach, from Arabic summaq, from Syrian summaq "red." Later applied to N.Amer. species.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The first is traditional, vinegary mignonette, laced with sumac.
Smooth sumac is known to shade and replace prairie plants and endangered
There are several over-the-counter herbicides that will work on sumac and other
  broad leaf plants.
Bunches of fuzzy red fruit at the top of all sumac plants.
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