\ 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

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 The fresh, aromatic scent of citrus and fern is both stimulating and refreshing, including a zesty medley of orange, lemon, bergamot, and neroli atop subtle floral and musky accords. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 June 2022 Across from the guesthouse and by the main house is a garden area that Doyle filled with grasses like Lomandra ‘Platinum Beauty,’ asparagus fern and Queen Emma Crinum lily, known as giant spider lily. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 May 2022 The emblems — including the Canadian maple leaf, Australian wattle and the New Zealand fern — were also embroidered onto the dress in color, a first for a coronation dress and a direct request from Her Majesty. Monique Jessen, PEOPLE.com, 1 June 2022 Admire the view of the cedar and fern-covered mountains that surround you. Sunset Magazine, 24 May 2022 Anemone, astilbe, fern, hosta, oakleaf hydrangea, ligularia, rhododendron, toad lily, and woodland phlox thrive in many mainland U.S. regions; ajuga, clivia, tropical gingers and bromeliads are good choices for the warmest climates. Jessica Damiano, BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2022 Normally invisible spider webs and the budding fronds of bracken fern were decorated with tiny drops of water as if placed by the tiny hands of some unseen forest gnome. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 May 2022 Go with ferns, especially varieties like the bird's nest fern. Brittney Morgan And Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 29 Apr. 2022 If your mom likes to walk on trails but would prefer a mostly flat pathway covered by tree canopy, head over to the Ferndell Nature Trail, which is about half a mile round-trip and features more than 50 species of fern. Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near fern



fern ally

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Statistics for fern

Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fern. Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for fern


\ 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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