fern

noun
\ 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 fernlike (audio) \ adjective
ferny \ ˈfər-​nē How to pronounce ferny (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

High ferns line the sides of the trail as visitors see the three oak trees ahead that signify the overlook. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A view with three trees and so much more on top of Bull Hill in Thompson," 7 June 2019 Though only 30,000 acres, Huerquehue is equally spectacular with its waterfalls, bamboo and fern tree forests, streams and mountains. Shivani Vora, Washington Post, "They’re both stunning. But one of these sites in Chile is less crowded and more affordable.," 6 June 2019 Not all ferns are delicate, requiring constant moisture. Irene Wanner, The Seattle Times, "In Oliver Sacks’ final book, the writer’s signature charm and self-effacing kindness shine through one last time," 19 May 2019 The city’s old concrete yields everything from tiny specimens demanding close inspection with a hand lens to a gigantic cliff fern almost 6 feet across. Irene Wanner, The Seattle Times, "In Oliver Sacks’ final book, the writer’s signature charm and self-effacing kindness shine through one last time," 19 May 2019 The actress Ann Dowd descended from her apartment, in Chelsea, carrying a Buddha and a potted fern. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Aunt Lydia’s Garden Karma," 18 June 2018 Sofia Barozzi of Il Profumo dei Fiori created the floral arrangements, which included three types of roses (English, spray, and avalanche), hydrangea, dahlias, clematis, magnolia, white protea, and ferns. Brooke Porter Katz, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Couple Took Over a Small Town in Italy for Their Medieval-Inspired Wedding," 28 Feb. 2019 Next to Suchomimus, Huber and his team buried baskets of ferns and planted larch trees. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee zoo's dinosaur exhibit comes alive with flowers, plants and one avocado tree," 6 June 2018 Giant salvinia is a floating fern that grows rapidly, outpacing natural plant species. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "No special session decision yet, Alton Sterling case and Scalise surgery: Louisiana politics today (Jan. 11)," 11 Jan. 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

13 Jun 2019

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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 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

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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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