fern

noun
\ˈfərn \

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 \ adjective
ferny \ˈfər-​nē \ adjective

Examples of fern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Meanwhile, the koru is both the name of a fern found in the country, and the term used to describe a loop that never becomes tangled. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Spiral Necklace Has Such a Special Story Behind It," 28 Oct. 2018 Vining plants like ivies and some ferns, which don’t feature a woody stalk, can be wound up a support and then trained in a round wire plant armature, available at any craft store. Cynthia Kling, WSJ, "Laid-Back Topiary for Your Winter Windowsill," 12 Oct. 2018 Try ferns, European wild ginger (Asarum europaeum), sedges (Carex spp.), lavender, lamiums (Lamium maculatum), sedums, and lungworts (Pulmonaria spp.). The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening," 13 Aug. 2018 Joseph Free decorated the tables with ferns and greenery that were so popular Samira, Issa, Logan, and Stefani each took a plant home. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Just 21 Awesome Photos of Issa Rae, Chrissy Metz, and More at Glamour x Tory Burch's Emmy Lunch," 16 Sep. 2018 Plant hostas with ferns, wildflowers, and shade perennials on the north side of a house or under the canopy of large trees. Kris Wetherbee, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Stunning Hostas," 7 Aug. 2018 The Iceman’s last meal was balanced with grains from einkorn wheat and traces of a genus of toxic ferns called bracken. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "The ‘Iceman’s’ last meal was a high-fat feast," 12 July 2018 Royal Fern, a skin-care brand with a heavy ingredient focus on the anti-inflammatory fern plant, also offers ampoules. Sarah Kinonen, Allure, "The Importance of Germany in the Skin-Care Industry," 24 Oct. 2018 Try ferns, European wild ginger (Asarum europaeum), sedges (Carex spp.), lavender, lamiums (Lamium maculatum), sedums, and lungworts (Pulmonaria spp.). The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening," 13 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for fern

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for fern

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

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More Definitions for fern

fern

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fern

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

fern

noun
\ˈfərn \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on fern

Spanish Central: Translation of fern

Nglish: Translation of fern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fern

Comments on fern

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