fi·​cus ˈfī-kəs How to pronounce ficus (audio)
plural ficus or ficuses
: any of a genus (Ficus) of chiefly tropical trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the mulberry family that have deciduous or evergreen leaves, often begin life as epiphytes, and include some (such as F. benjamina) grown as houseplants and others (such as F. carica) cultivated for their oblong or pear-shaped edible syconium fruit : fig entry 1 sense 1b compare banyan, rubber plant, strangler fig, weeping fig

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, everyone wanted to try and fail with a temperamental weeping ficus tree (Ficus benjamina, shown above), but the houseplant cognoscenti chose its more easy-going cousin, Ficus maclellandii 'Alii' (shown below). Tovah Martin, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Dec. 2022 One of these, the fig sphinx moth (Pachylia ficus), was practically a regular, showing up at ghost orchids multiple times, both in the Fakahatchee and at Corkscrew, often with ghost orchid pollinia on its head. Steven Bedard, Discover Magazine, 26 Nov. 2019 In Beverly Hills, a fight to save ficus trees is ongoing, with the trees also set for removal to make room for sidewalks. Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2023 Sourced by award-winning hotel designer Bill Bensley, the carriages, which had languished for decades and were overgrown with ficus trees, were found throughout the country and then transformed into colorful, whimsical lodgings. Katie Lockhart, Robb Report, 26 Jan. 2023 When fully mature, the Alii ficus plant reaches about 60 inches, but is about 36 inches in height when it is shipped. Kaitlyn Mcinnis, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Jan. 2023 My mother filled the apartment with philodendron and spider plant, ficus and fern. Julie Buckner Armstrong, New York Times, 18 Nov. 2022 Built by locals out of the roots of ficus trees, some are as old as 500 years and symbolize the self-sufficiency of the Khasi indigenous tribe and their relationship with the forest. CNN, 21 Dec. 2022 Two different ficus specimens, one in India and one in Sri Lanka, purport to be the bodhi tree under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment. Timothy Farrington, WSJ, 2 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, fig

First Known Use

1693, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ficus was in 1693

Dictionary Entries Near ficus

Cite this Entry

“Ficus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

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