A tree is something resembling a tree

Unlikely as it sounds, I recently got involved in a drunken discussion on the difference between a tree, a bush and a plant.

I Googled 'tree' on my smartphone and one of the first definitions I came across was:

Something constructed in the form of, or considered as resembling, a tree, consisting of a stem, or stock, and branches; as, a genealogical tree.

That's from the 1913 edition of Webster's.

Now I'm sober, I understand what the definition is driving at - that 'tree' is sometimes used metaphorically (or perhaps I mean analogously?).

But I have to say that defining a tree as something "in the form of... a tree" does not help resolve drunken arguments. And really, what else are dictionary definitions for?


mighty red pen said...

You guys didn't happen to explore the difference between a bush and a shrub, did you? This came up the other day.

Writing Student said...

You should have really intelligent friends to resort to a dictionary for solving their drunk debate! This is something I rarely have the luxury of being witness of =)

Anthony Souls said...

How would you define a tree? :)

Kate W said...

As in he was thinking of this because he needed a whizz? Just trying to understand the motive there - intensely for shrubbery and greenery hmm suspicious

Kate W said...

Just thinking about motive for that intensively for greenery and close to a pub hmmm needs a whizz - definately. Telling!