fid·​dle·​head ˈfi-dᵊl-ˌhed How to pronounce fiddlehead (audio)
: one of the young coiled fronds of some ferns (such as the ostrich fern) that are often cooked and eaten as a vegetable
Before the tightly coiled frond of the young fern uncurls, it is called a fiddlehead because of its resemblance to the scrolled head of a violin.Maria Kourebanas

called also fiddlehead fern

Examples of fiddlehead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Potato gnocchi with Pennsylvania cinnamon fern fiddleheads. Elazar Sontag, Bon Appétit, 13 Sep. 2023 Smaller groups will eat well with a lofty breakfast sandwich with house sausage, egg and cheese or elegant egg dishes paired with fiddlehead ferns and other seasonal delights, as well as excellent pour-over coffees made to order. oregonlive, 1 July 2022 The yard is carpeted with wild strawberries and fiddlehead ferns, its perimeter ringed with elderberry bushes. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Sep. 2021 Simeon ran his fingers along tall reedy stalks, feeling for the familiar curled tendrils of pohole (fiddlehead ferns). Elyse Inamine, Bon Appétit, 19 July 2021 New asparagus, potatoes, baby artichokes and oddities like fiddlehead ferns or garlic scapes beg to be gently cooked, then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, doing the bare minimum to highlight their flavor. Ben Mims, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2021 And now, mid-pandemic, a dinner plate of snails garnished with fiddlehead ferns — a dish Pyles’ team once served at an exclusive tasting room named Fauna — seems like a joke. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 22 July 2020 Watch and listen for wildlife as the garden’s weeping Higan cherry trees sway in the wind along the pond, and follow the path of camellias, artfully pruned pine trees and fiddlehead ferns. Maya Salam, New York Times, 13 Apr. 2020 Black / Brown Chocolate cosmos, pincushion plant, amaranth, fiddleheads, and agonis are all incredible together—a bit moody, yes, but not too somber. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 12 Feb. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fiddlehead.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fiddlehead was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near fiddlehead

Cite this Entry

“Fiddlehead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


fid·​dle·​head ˈfid-ᵊl-ˌhed How to pronounce fiddlehead (audio)
: one of the young tightly coiled leaves of some ferns that are often eaten as greens
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