co·​ni·​fer | \ ˈkä-nə-fər also ˈkō- How to pronounce conifer (audio) \

Definition of conifer

: any of an order (Coniferales) of mostly evergreen trees and shrubs having usually needle-shaped or scalelike leaves and including forms (such as pines) with true cones and others (such as yews) with an arillate fruit

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Other Words from conifer

coniferous \ kō-​ˈni-​f(ə-​)rəs How to pronounce coniferous (audio) , kə-​ \ adjective

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Any of an order of trees and shrubs, conifers usually have usually needle-shaped or scale-like leaves. Conifers include forms (such as pines) with true cones and others (such as yews) that bear a fruit. There are more than 550 species of conifers, and most are evergreen trees and shrubs. They grow throughout the world (except in Antarctica) and prefer temperate climate zones. They include the world's smallest and tallest trees. Conifers supply softwood timber used for general construction, boxes and crates, and other articles, as well as pulpwood for paper. The wood is also used as fuel and in the manufacture of cellulose products, plywood, and veneers. The trees are the source of resins, oils, turpentine, tars, and pharmaceuticals.

Examples of conifer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Still, a neighborhood less than a mile from the city's center reveals what Medler describes as a classic Northwest scene: branches of towering conifers brushing against dozens of wood-sided homes. Author: Tom James, Anchorage Daily News, "US Northwest towns ‘woefully unprepared’ as fire risk grows," 5 Aug. 2019 Workers chopped down the overgrown conifers, mulched them, and planted oaks and native grasses. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "Castle Rock State Park: Grand new $8.7 million entrance opens to public," 1 Aug. 2019 Most mushrooms like shady areas, but chanterelles like sun in conifer forests. Allyson Reedy, The Know, "Extremely rare, coveted mushrooms that only appear after a wildfire are popping up in southern Colorado," 18 July 2019 This must-have seemed like a bargain at three or four times the price per cubic foot of most conifers. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Blundering Gardener: The things you think of — and cry about — when gardening," 13 July 2019 This beautiful segment features slopes with sprouting aspen saplings as well as ravines cluttered with old-growth conifers draped in moss. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "This Flagstaff mountain hike surrounds you with summer wildflowers," 18 July 2019 Some of the 34,000 people who live inside the park see species such as the black pine, a drought-resistant conifer that encroaches on pastureland, as a pest. The Economist, "Why France’s forests are getting bigger," 18 July 2019 Yet, once angiosperms emerged, their structural and functional diversity exploded — far outpacing the diversification and spread of the other major plant groups, the gymnosperms (including conifers) and ferns. Quanta Magazine, "With ‘Downsized’ DNA, Flowering Plants Took Over the World," 16 June 2019 Sitting at the edge of vast meadows, fringed by mixed conifer forest, DeMotte offers 38 single sites for tents and RVs (no hookups). Roger Naylor, azcentral, "These Arizona campgrounds will reserve your spot," 17 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conifer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conifer

circa 1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for conifer

ultimately from Latin conifer cone-bearing, from conus cone + -fer

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Statistics for conifer

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for conifer

The first known use of conifer was circa 1841

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English Language Learners Definition of conifer

biology : a bush or tree (such as a pine) that produces cones and that usually has leaves that are green all year


co·​ni·​fer | \ ˈkä-nə-fər How to pronounce conifer (audio) , ˈkō-\

Kids Definition of conifer

: any of a group of mostly evergreen trees and shrubs (as pines) that typically produce cones and have leaves resembling needles or scales in shape

Other Words from conifer

coniferous \ kō-​ˈni-​fə-​rəs , kə-​ \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on conifer

Spanish Central: Translation of conifer

Nglish: Translation of conifer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conifer for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about conifer

Comments on conifer

What made you want to look up conifer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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