Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[wich-iz-broom, -broo m] /ˈwɪtʃ ɪzˌbrum, -ˌbrʊm/
noun, Plant Pathology
an abnormal, brushlike growth of small thin branches on woody plants, caused especially by fungi, viruses, and mistletoes.
1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for witches-broom


a dense abnormal growth of shoots on a tree or other woody plant, usually caused by parasitic fungi of the genus Taphrina
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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for witches-broom


symptom of plant disease that occurs as an abnormal brushlike cluster of dwarfed, weak shoots arising at or near the same point; twigs and branches of woody plants may die back. There are numerous causes, including rust (Gymnosporangium and Pucciniastrum); Apiosporina, Exobasidium, and Taphrina fungi; mites; insects; viruses; mycoplasmas; bacteria; and mistletoes. Susceptible plants include alder, alfalfa, Amelanchier, birch, California buckeye, Chamaecyparis, cherry, cherry laurel, elm, fir, hackberry, Holodiscus (ocean spray), honey locust, juniper and red-cedar, manzanita, mountain heath, mulberry, oak, potato, rhododendron, rose, sophora, spruce, and strawberry.

Learn more about witches'-broom with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for witches'-broom

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for witches

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with witches-broom