epiphyte

play
noun epi·phyte \ˈe-pə-ˌfīt\

Definition of epiphyte

  1. :  a plant that derives its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and grows usually on another plant

Recent Examples of epiphyte from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Epiphytic plants are sometimes known as "air plants" because they seemingly survive on thin air. They rely on their host plants merely for physical support, not nourishment. Tropical epiphytes include orchids, ferns, and members of the pineapple family. To a newcomer in the tropical rain forest, the first sight of a great tree with large epiphytes hanging from every level can be eerie and astonishing. Familiar epiphytes of the temperate zone include lichens, mosses, and algae, which may grow on rocks or water without touching the soil.

First Known Use of epiphyte

circa 1847


Learn More about epiphyte


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

clear to the understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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