Definition of cycad
: any of an order (Cycadales) of dioecious cycadophytes that flourished especially during the Jurassic and are represented by four surviving families of palmlike tropical plants
Recent Examples of cycad from the Web
White cycad scale is one of these that seems to sneak into the plantings to quickly cover trunks, leaves and inflorescence of the sagos to cause their decline.
A cycad, sago palm (Cycas revoluta) is not actually related to palms.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cycad'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
A cycad is a tropical palmlike evergreen plant. Cycads flourished especially during the Jurassic and are represented by four surviving families. Cycads have crowns of large, feathery compound leaves and cones at the ends of their branches. Some have tall, unbranched trunks; others have partially buried stems with swollen trunks. Slow-growing cycads are used as ornamental conservatory plants, but some survive outdoors in temperate regions. The stems of some cycads yield starch that is edible if thoroughly cooked. The young leaves and seeds of others also are edible.
Origin and Etymology of cycad
New Latin Cycad-, Cycas, genus name, from Greek kykas, manuscript variant of koïkas, accusative plural of koïx, a kind of palm
First Known Use: 1845See Words from the same year
CYCAD Defined for Kids
Definition of cycad for Students
: a tropical plant like a palm but related to the conifers
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up cycad? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).