- the art of dwarfing and shaping trees and shrubs in shallow pots by pruning, controlled fertilization, etc.
- pl. bon′sai· such a tree or shrub
Origin of bonsaiJapanese bon, literally , basin or pot + sai, to plant
- The art of growing dwarfed, ornamentally shaped trees or shrubs in small shallow pots or trays.
- A tree or shrub grown by this method.
Origin of bonsaiJapanese potted plant bon basin ( from Early Middle Chinese bən ) ( also the source of Mandarin pén ) sai to plant ( from Middle Chinese tsəj ) ( also the source of Mandarin zāi )
(countable and uncountable, plural bonsai or bonsais)