su·mac also su·mach (smăk, sh-)
1. Any of various shrubs or small trees of the genera Rhus and Toxicodendron, having compound leaves, clusters of small greenish flowers, and usually red, hairy fruit. Species in the genus Toxicodendron, such as poison sumac, have toxic sap.
2. A tart, dark reddish-brown powder made from the ground dried fruits of a Eurasian sumac (Rhus coriaria), used as a seasoning in Middle Eastern cuisine.
[Middle English, preparation made from sumac, from Old French (possibly via Medieval Latin sumach), from Arabic summāq, sumac tree, from Aramaic, dark red, from səmaq, to be red; see smq in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
(click for a larger image)sumac
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus