gymnosperm

noun
gym·​no·​sperm | \ ˈjim-nə-ˌspərm How to pronounce gymnosperm (audio) \

Definition of gymnosperm

: any of a group of vascular plants that produce naked seeds not enclosed in an ovary, that were formerly considered a class (Gymnospermae) of seed plants, but that are now considered polyphyletic in origin and divided into several extinct divisions and four divisions with surviving members typified by the cycadophytes, conifers, ginkgo, and ephedras — compare angiosperm

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Other Words from gymnosperm

gymnospermous \ ˌjim-​nə-​ˈspər-​məs How to pronounce gymnospermous (audio) \ adjective
gymnospermy \ ˈjim-​nə-​ˌspər-​mē How to pronounce gymnospermy (audio) \ noun

Examples of gymnosperm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the crisis, the dominant seedless ferns were supplanted by seed-bearing gymnosperms such as conifers and ginkgoes. National Geographic, "Earth has had more major mass extinctions than we realized," 18 Dec. 2019 Yet, once angiosperms emerged, their structural and functional diversity exploded — far outpacing the diversification and spread of the other major plant groups, the gymnosperms (including conifers) and ferns. Quanta Magazine, "With ‘Downsized’ DNA, Flowering Plants Took Over the World," 16 June 2019

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

First Known Use of gymnosperm

circa 1838, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gymnosperm

ultimately from Greek gymnos + sperma seed — more at sperm

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The first known use of gymnosperm was circa 1838

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Cite this Entry

“Gymnosperm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gymnosperm. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for gymnosperm

gymnosperm

noun
gym·​no·​sperm | \ ˈjim-nə-ˌspərm How to pronounce gymnosperm (audio) \

Medical Definition of gymnosperm

: any of a class or subdivision (Gymnospermae) of woody vascular seed plants (as conifers or cycads) that produce naked seeds not enclosed in an ovary and that in some instances have motile spermatozoids — compare angiosperm

Other Words from gymnosperm

gymnospermous \ ˌjim-​nə-​ˈspər-​məs How to pronounce gymnospermous (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on gymnosperm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gymnosperm

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gymnosperm

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