plural noun

Definition of Orchidaceae

: a very large family of highly specialized perennial herbaceous monocotyledonous plants (order Orchidales) that have entire sheathing or scalelike leaves, tuberous or bulbous or thickened roots, and extremely complex usually showy flowers with a calyx of three often petaloid sepals, a corolla of three petals of which one forms a distinctive and often spurred labellum, a column consisting of the variously fused style, stigma, and stamen, the pollen usually aggregated into pollinia which adhere to visiting insects, and an inferior ovary and that reproduce by minute seeds lacking endosperm and containing chlorophyll — see orchid, orchis

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.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for Orchidaceae

New Latin, from Orchid-, Orchis, type genus + -aceae

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About Orchidaceae

Statistics for Orchidaceae

Cite this Entry

“Orchidaceae.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Orchidaceae. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!