- 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
nounpl. bonsai bonsai
- 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 b&schwa;n; also the source of Mandarin pén) + sai, to plant (from Middle Chinese ts&schwa;j; also the source of Mandarin zāi).
(countable and uncountable, plural bonsai or bonsais)