gink·​go | \ ˈgiŋ-(ˌ)kō How to pronounce ginkgo (audio) also ˈgiŋk-(ˌ)gō \
variants: or less commonly gingko
plural ginkgoes or ginkgos also gingkos or gingkoes

Definition of ginkgo

1 : a gymnospermous dioecious tree (Ginkgo biloba) of eastern China that is widely grown as an ornamental or shade tree and has fan-shaped leaves and foul-smelling yellowish fleshy seed coats

called also maidenhair tree

Did you know?

There is only one living representative of the gymnosperm order Ginkgoales, and that is the tree Ginkgo biloba. Native to China, the ginkgo has existed for some 250 million years and is often termed a living fossil. It has long been planted in Chinese and Japanese temple gardens, and is valued in many parts of the world as an attractive, fungus- and insect-resistant ornamental tree. It tolerates cold weather and can survive the adverse atmospheric conditions of urban areas. The light-colored wood, is soft and weak and has little economic value. The leaves are fan-shaped and leathery. The silvery nut, when roasted, is considered a delicacy. Studies have suggested that ginkgo supplements can enhance memory function in the elderly and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Examples of ginkgo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Brian Cody Prosser is interred near a row of ginkgo trees not far from a memorial dedicated to those who perished in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Thomas Curwen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2021 There’s always room somewhere for a redbud or a sweetbay magnolia or possibly a ginkgo. Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2021 Some resemble ginkgo leaves, others the oblong flensing spades used by 19th-century whalers. J. B. Mackinnon, The Atlantic, 30 Mar. 2021 Tucked in a grove of ginkgo trees, a glass cube at Logan International Airport pays tribute to those lost aboard the two jetliners that took off from Boston and were hijacked by terrorists who flew them into the World Trade Center towers., 9 Sep. 2021 There was a big crowd of neighbors, staring at a giant swarm of bees, thousands of them, clustered around a ginkgo tree in front of his house, and flying around. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 June 2021 Here, 24kt vermeil sterling silver has been combined with crystals to form these ginkgo leaves. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021 The Garrett ginkgo is special because of its unusually fast growth. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 16 Nov. 2020 Our friend the ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) as an 8-foot tree always looks a bit like a glorified coat rack. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 2 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ginkgo.' 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 ginkgo

1773, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ginkgo

New Latin Ginkgo, from Japanese ginkyō

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Last Updated

7 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ginkgo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of ginkgo

: a large Chinese tree that has fan-shaped leaves

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