money tree

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money tree (plural money trees)

  1. (non-idiomatic usage) An imaginary tree from which money can be plucked; mentioned as an impossible object — see: money doesn't grow on trees.
    • 1967, Canadian Parliament, House of Commons Debates, Volume 1, page 699,
      Maybe we could learn how to grow money trees.
    • 2004, Leo Furey, The Long Run, page 86,
      Money does not grow on trees. There is no money tree at Mount Kildare. If we had a money tree, boys, there would be no need of the bakery, no need of the raffle.
  2. (US) A miniature tree sculpture decorated with currency, often used as a raffle prize or a gift.
    • 1972, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, American Association of Industrial Nurses, Occupational Health Nursing, Volume 20, page 26,
      NIAIN′s one money making project of the year, a money tree, was raffled off and won by Virginia Call of Bell and Howell.
    • 2001, Daniel J. Brown, Chapter 11: School Voluntarism, Social Capital, and Civil Society, Heinz-Dieter Meyer, William Lowe Boyd (editors), Education: Between States, Markets, and Civil Society: Comparative Perspectives, Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey, page 173,
      Donations from teachers and others were converted into coinage for a money tree that was raffled for $500.
    • 2003, North Carolina Folklore Society, North Carolina Folklore Journal, Volumes 50-53, page 23,
      Some families offer elaborate money trees, fashioned from decorated branches and streamers made of bills carefully pinned together [] .
  3. (commercial name) The Malabar chestnut, Pachira aquatica.
  4. The jade plant, Crassula ovata.
  5. The cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao.
  6. (Chinese mythology) A kind of holy tree believed to bring money and good fortune.
  7. (Australia) A cheap tree sculpture, decorated with currency, used as a raffle prize because it would be illegal to offer a cash prize.


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