\ ˈfərn How to pronounce fern (audio) \

Definition of fern

: any of a division (Filicophyta) or class (Filicopsida) of flowerless spore-producing vascular plants having alternating sporophyte and gametophyte generations especially : any of an order (Filicales) of homosporous plants possessing roots, stems, and leaflike fronds — compare seed fern

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Other Words from fern

fernlike \ ˈfərn-​ˌlīk How to pronounce fern (audio) \ adjective
ferny \ ˈfər-​nē How to pronounce fern (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For larger clumps that would be tough to cut with a knife (asparagus fern is a good example), use a saw. Dan Gill, NOLA.com, "Forget the calculator — pull out a shovel and do some dividing in the garden," 20 Jan. 2021 The fern comes with a mister that was designed in collaboration with Hudson’s vodka brand, King St. Vodka. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "New & Notable: Latest launches from Athleta, Knix, Away and more," 1 Feb. 2021 Test your soil pH and identify your fern before adding lime. oregonlive, "Need help hiding new neighbor’s big concrete wall? Ask an expert," 27 Dec. 2020 Pots contain colorful tropicals, there's a Meyer lemon tree and and an immense staghorn fern tucked into a corner. R. Stephanie Bruno, NOLA.com, "Kitchen and den get extra space at the heart of a double-turned single in the Garden District," 5 Nov. 2020 But after two months in my bathroom, the fern turned yellow due to insufficient light. Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times, "10 humidity-loving houseplants that will thrive in your bathroom," 28 Oct. 2020 Tiny mites and weevils devour New Zealand pigmyweed and water fern in Britain. Barry Estabrook, WSJ, "Two Books on Creatures Invasive and Incredible," 9 Oct. 2020 With four other investors including Australia's largest supermarket chain, Woolworths, the organization hopes to make belching bovines less of a problem -- by adding a pinky-red, fern-like seaweed called asparagopsis to their diet. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "Burping cows are fueling the climate crisis. This company says it's got a solution," 21 Sep. 2020 When’s the best time to cut dead fronds from a fern? oregonlive, "Mushrooms in lawn worry new puppy owner: Ask an expert," 30 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fern.' 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 fern

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fern

Middle English, from Old English fearn; akin to Old High German farn fern, Sanskrit parṇa wing, leaf

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Time Traveler for fern

Time Traveler

The first known use of fern was before the 12th century

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Statistics for fern

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fern. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for fern



English Language Learners Definition of fern

: a type of plant that has large, delicate leaves and no flowers


\ ˈfərn How to pronounce fern (audio) \

Kids Definition of fern

: a plant that produces spores instead of seeds and no flowers and whose leaves are usually divided into many parts

Other Words from fern

fernlike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on fern

Nglish: Translation of fern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fern

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