plural monsteras or monstera
: any of a genus (Monstera) of tropical American climbing plants of the arum family that have deeply incised or perforated leaves and an erect floral spadix enclosed in a white to yellow concave bract and that include some grown for their large ornamental leaves
monstera is a climbing or sprawling vine that supports itself with long tentacle-like aerial roots.Amy Bennett Williams
Monsteras do not flower or fruit indoors but may do so outdoors in protected locations …Redland (California) Daily Facts
see swiss cheese plant, swiss cheese vine
: the fruit of a monstera (especially Monstera deliciosa)
Lesser known fruits, such as the monstera (or Mexican breadfruit), baffle even enthusiastic diners.Jan Norris

Examples of monstera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The all-purpose potting mix works well for a variety of common indoor plants, such as pothos, spider plants, monstera, philodendron, and English ivy. Renee Freemon Mulvihill, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 May 2024 The space, which looks like an enchanted forest, is filled with easy-care houseplants including monsteras, different types of pothos, Zanzibar Gems (a.k.a. Kailyn Brown, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 True to its name, monstera plants soak up the sunlight pouring in. Jenna Thompson, Kansas City Star, 6 Mar. 2024 Bird-of-paradise flowers flourish outside, along with monstera vines and an avocado tree. Dara Kerr, NPR, 28 Feb. 2024 Out on the lush lawn, two wood tables dressed in floral arrangements filled with Birds of Paradise, anthuriums, and monstera set the sophisticated yet tropical scene. Eliseé Browchuk, Vogue, 6 Dec. 2023 Greenery gadget Sutton Self-Watering Planter $32 at Anthropologie $36 at Lulu and Georgia Even people without a green thumb can enjoy a bit of monstera or pothos on their desk with this innovative gift, which removes the guesswork out of plant care. Sarah Grossbart,, 24 Oct. 2023 These and other large architectural indoor plants such as strelitzia, monstera, dracaena, and many palm species look equally impressive on decks, balconies, and patios. Marianne Willburn, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023 But don’t plan for a harvest just yet; as houseplants, monstera plants almost never bear fruit. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 30 Aug. 2023

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin Monstera, genus name, perhaps arbitrarily re-formed from Latin monstrum "omen, portent, monster entry 1"

Note: The genus name Monstera was introduced by the French botanist Michel Adanson (1727-1806) in Famille des plantes, I partie (Paris, 1763), p. 470. Adanson's taxonomic coinages are notable for their derivational irregularity and occasional inscrutability.

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of monstera was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near monstera

Cite this Entry

“Monstera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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