AskDefine | Define fir

Dictionary Definition



1 nonresinous wood of a fir tree
2 any of various evergreen trees of the genus Abies; chiefly of upland areas [syn: fir tree, true fir]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • RP:
    • /fɜː(r)/
    • /f3:(r)/
  • GA (GenAm):
    • /fɝː/
  • Homophones: fur


  1. A conifer of the genus Abies.



A conifer of the genus Abies

Crimean Tatar






  1. male (used as adjective)




See also

Extensive Definition

Firs (Abies) are a genus of between 45-55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. All are trees, reaching heights of 10-80 m (30-260 ft) tall and trunk diameters of 0.5-4 m (2-12 ft) when mature. Firs can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by their needle-like leaves, attached to the twig by a base that resembles a small suction cup; and by erect, cylindrical cones 5-25 cm (2-10 in) long that disintegrate at maturity to release the winged seeds. Identification of the species is based on the size and arrangement of the leaves, the size and shape of the cones, and whether the bract scales of the cones are long and exserted, or short and hidden inside the cone. They are most closely related to the cedars (Cedrus). Firs are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range.
Firs are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Chionodes abella (recorded on White Fir), Autumnal Moth, Conifer Swift (a pest of Balsam Fir), The Engrailed, Grey Pug, Mottled Umber and Pine Beauty.
Douglas-firs are not true firs, being of the genus Pseudotsuga.


  • Section Grandis (western North America to Mexico and Guatemala, lowlands in north, moderate altitudes in south)
  • Section Piceaster (southern Spain, northwest Africa)
  • Section Amabilis (Pacific coast mountains, North America and Japan, in high rainfall mountains)


The wood of most firs is considered unsuitable for general timber use, and is often used as pulp or for the manufacture of plywood and rough timber. Nordmann Fir, Noble Fir, Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir are very popular Christmas trees, generally considered to be the best trees for this purpose, with aromatic foliage that does not shed many needles on drying out. Many are also very decorative garden trees, notably Korean Fir and Fraser Fir, which produce brightly coloured cones even when very young, still only 1-2 m (3-6 ft) tall.
fir in Bulgarian: Ела
fir in Czech: Jedle
fir in Danish: Ædelgran
fir in German: Tannen
fir in Modern Greek (1453-): Ελάτη
fir in Spanish: Abies
fir in Esperanto: Abio
fir in French: Sapin
fir in Galician: Abeto
fir in Korean: 전나무속
fir in Upper Sorbian: Jědla
fir in Croatian: Jele
fir in Italian: Abies
fir in Hebrew: אשוח
fir in Haitian: Sapen
fir in Latin: Abies
fir in Lithuanian: Kėnis
fir in Dutch: Zilverspar
fir in Japanese: モミ属
fir in Norwegian: Edelgraner
fir in Polish: Jodła
fir in Portuguese: Abies
fir in Quechua: Awitu
fir in Russian: Пихты
fir in Albanian: Abies
fir in Simple English: Fir
fir in Slovenian: Jelka (rod)
fir in Serbian: Јела
fir in Finnish: Pihdat
fir in Swedish: Ädelgranar
fir in Vietnamese: Chi Linh sam
fir in Turkish: Göknar
fir in Ukrainian: Ялиця
fir in Chinese: 冷杉属
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