• WordNet 3.6
    • n sumac a shrub or tree of the genus Rhus (usually limited to the non-poisonous members of the genus)
    • n sumac wood of a sumac
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sumac (Bot) Any plant of the genus Rhus, shrubs or small trees with usually compound leaves and clusters of small flowers. Some of the species are used in tanning, some in dyeing, and some in medicine. One, the Japanese Rhus vernicifera, yields the celebrated Japan varnish, or lacquer.
    • Sumac The powdered leaves, peduncles, and young branches of certain species of the sumac plant, used in tanning and dyeing.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sumac One of numerous shrubs or small trees of the genus Rhus. See def. 2, and phrases below.
    • n sumac A product of the dried and ground leaves of certain shrubs or trees of the genus Rhus or of other genera, much used for tanning light-colored leathers and to some extent for dyeing. The leading source of this product is the tanners' or Sicilian sumac, Rhus Coriaria, of southern Europe, cultivated in Sicily and also in Tuscany. The Venetian sumac, smoke-tree, or wig-tree, R. Cotinus, is grown in Tyrol for the same purpose. (See smoke-tree and scotino.) In Spain various species supply a similar substance, and in Algeria the leaves of R. pentaphylla, five-leaved or Tezera sumac, are applied to the manufacture of morocco. In France a tree of another genus, Coriaria myrtifolia, myrtle-leaved sumac, furnishes a similar product. (See Coriaria.) In the United States, particularly in Virginia, the leaves of several wild sumacs are now gathered as tan-stock—namely, of the dwarf, the smooth, the stag-horn, and perhaps the Canadian sumac. These contain more tannin than the European, but, at least with careless gathering, they make an inferior leather.
    • sumac In leather manufacturing, to treat with sumac.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sumac sū′mak a genus of small trees and shrubs of the natural order Anacardiaceæ—the leaves of some species used in dyeing.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. sumac, formerly sumach,cf. Sp. zumaque,), fr. Ar. summāq,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. sumac—Sp. zumaque—Ar. summāq.


In literature:

I don't like murky skies, worn-out grass, skeleton hedge-rows, muddy lanes, lonesome sumacs and cold winds.
"Grace Harlowe's Golden Summer" by Jessie Graham Flower
Sumacing: A liquor is made from 12 lb.
"The Dyeing of Cotton Fabrics" by Franklin Beech
She watched the placid fields, the wooded hill-tops, the lanes that wound away between walls of sumac.
"Sacrifice" by Stephen French Whitman
Now let us get a branch of live elderberry and one or two limbs of the low red sumac.
"Woodland Tales" by Ernest Seton-Thompson
The sumac bushes burned like fire.
"The Eyes of the Woods" by Joseph A. Altsheler
The goat-skins are sumac-tanned and are still used in making the best book-binding leather.
"Commercial Geography" by Jacques W. Redway
The sumac flamed everywhere, and bronze oak trees smouldered in the sun.
"The Cricket" by Marjorie Cooke
Sicilian sumac makes better leather than does the American variety, which comes chiefly from Virginia.
"The Story of Leather" by Sara Ware Bassett
It was the day we climbed the Sumac Hill that we got our Idea!
"Fairy Prince and Other Stories" by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
On one side a stone wall, half hidden by the grass and by a sumac hedge in full bloom, curved over the sky-line.
"Shapes that Haunt the Dusk" by Various
He's turning on Nap, around those sumac bushes.
"Harper's Young People, April 6, 1880" by Various
Therefore, he expected to have this girl with the challenging eyes, the maddening mouth, like crimson sumac.
"Tharon of Lost Valley" by Vingie E. Roe
But the honest country people who take so much pains about collecting sumac are not thinking about dressing vases with it.
"Harper's Young People, October 19, 1880" by Various
The reception room was cozy, with one open bookcase, some pictures, a great oriental jar full of trailing clematis and blazing sumac branches.
"Helen Grant's Schooldays" by Amanda M. Douglas
Native tobacco mixed with willow-bark or sumac leaves was smoked.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 1" by Various
The sumac no longer flared vermilion and the flaming torches of the maples were quenched.
"The Tempering" by Charles Neville Buck
"Bee Hunting" by John Ready Lockard
He could not hear what the two by the sumac bushes were saying.
"Paradise Bend" by William Patterson White
He automatically drew a fine sight on that sumac.
"The Rider of Golden Bar" by William Patterson White
The sumac bushes were already binding the foot of the far green hills with brilliant bands of crimson.
"Oldfield" by Nancy Huston Banks

In poetry:

Where the wahoo reds
And the sumac spreads
Tall plumes o'er the purple privet,
I beg a kiss
Of the wind, tho I wis
Right well he never will give it.
"Wanda" by Cale Young Rice
Its rotting fence one scarcely sees
Through sumac and wild blackberries,
Thick elder and the bramble-rose,
Big ox-eyed daisies where the bees
Hang droning in repose.
"The Old" by Madison Julius Cawein
She sees fawn-colored backs among
The sumacs now; a tossing horn
Its clashing bell of copper rung:
Long shadows lean upon the corn,
And slow the day dies, scarlet stung,
The cloud in it a rosy thorn.
""Below The Sunset’s Range Of Rose"" by Madison Julius Cawein
Adown the brook the dead leaves whirling go;
Above the brook the scarlet sumacs^ burn;
The lonely heron sounds his note of woe
In gloomy forest-swamps, where rankly grow
The crimson cardinal and feathery fern.
"October" by George Arnold

In news:

The nightly whine of pickup trucks Bouncing through the sumac.
Baby Artichokes With Capers, Sumac and Pine Nuts.
Leg of Lamb with Sumac Rub and Grilled Eggplant.
Yma Sumac, 'Peruvian songbird' with multi- octave range, dies at 86.
Q&A: Controlling Staghorn Sumac .
Kym Pokorny 'Tiger Eye' sumac growing in the broken-concrete wall where hardly anything catches on.
Grilled eggplant with feta, mint & sumac .
Leg of Lamb with Sumac Rub and Grilled Eggplant.
Yma Sumac RIP 1922-2008 Published November 4, 2008 By Stella Katsipoutis.
Yma Sumac , the enigmatic Peruvian singer famous for her four-octave voice and wildly exotic look, passed away on November 1 in Los Angeles after a year-long battle with colon cancer.
Yma Sumac , 'Peruvian songbird' with multi-octave range, dies at 86.
It's an overcast, blustery Saturday, but Tracy Parker and Jimmy White are intent on getting a sumac sapling into the ground.
Grilled eggplant with feta, mint & sumac.
Gospel singer Tamela Mann will perform at 6:30 pm Dec 1 at Christian Joy Center, 1208 Sumac.
Dave "Big Owl" McSurdy of Schuylkill County gives talks about the plants American Indians used for medicinal purposes, such as staghorn sumac.