Definition of Compositae
1 : a very large family of herbs, shrubs, and trees (order Campanulales) considered to constitute the most highly evolved plants and characterized by florets arranged in dense heads that resemble single flowers, each floret having a gamopetalous, ligulate, or tubular corolla and a calyx modified into a pappus (as in the dandelion, sunflower, aster, and ragweed)
2 in some classifications a : a superfamilial group that is coextensive with the family Compositae and is divided into the families Carduaceae, Cichoriaceae, and Ambrosiaceae b : carduaceae
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:
- 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of compositae
New Latin, from Latin, feminine plural of compositus composite
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up Compositae? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).