or·​chid | \ ˈȯr-kəd \

Definition of orchid

1 : any of a large family (Orchidaceae, the orchid family) of perennial epiphytic or terrestrial monocotyledonous plants that usually have showy 3-petaled flowers with the middle petal enlarged into a lip and differing from the others in shape and color
2 : a light purple

Illustration of orchid

Illustration of orchid

orchid 1

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Other Words from orchid

orchidlike \ ˈȯr-​kəd-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of orchid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

So how did someone like Sansa Stark—originally a whiny, spoiled hothouse orchid—manage to outlive so many of her doomed family members? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New study gives some handy tips on how to survive on Game of Thrones," 9 Dec. 2018 Native vegetation, waterfalls, butterfly gardens, and orchids will be spread across the more than 100 acres of open space that will be created or reimagined by the project, another example of the parks-as-rooms concept. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Miami’s Underline underscores potential of park projects," 19 Oct. 2018 Plop a jet-black feathery frond into a pot of orchids as seen here by Metaflora. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Can Halloween Home Decor Be Chic? These Items Make the Case," 26 Oct. 2018 Centerpieces of white orchids, hydrangeas and roses topped tables draped in taupe linen which were arranged beneath custom chandeliers that felt beachy, not stuffy. Carley K, Harper's BAZAAR, "Samantha & Jonathan Glass' Oceanfront Wedding in Playa Del Carmen," 23 Mar. 2017 Rather than embracing la dolce vita with an emblematic red lip, Beyoncé's pout was pressed with a pop of color reminiscent of an orchid, and skewed decidedly toward summertime: buoyant, slightly camp, and altogether aspirational. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Beyoncé Goes Off-Duty With Jay Z—and a Daring New Lipstick Shade," 5 Sep. 2018 Hillary Clinton exposed classified secrets on our email and that's according to Jim Comey like an open orchid according to Romanian hacker Guccifer. Fox News, "Rep. Matt Gaetz reacts to Bruce Ohr's notes about Steele," 17 Aug. 2018 Work was not far to find, across a few dozen metres of parquet flooring, past orchids and butter-yellow sofas, to his study in his apartment on the Upper East Side. The Economist, "Tom Wolfe died on May 14th," 26 May 2018 There’s no other explanation for being in this chamber decorated with orchids and velvet. Natalie B. Compton, GQ, "The Best Way to Do Paris Is the Old Fashioned Way," 3 Apr. 2018

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

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for orchid

borrowed from New Latin orchid-, the base of the taxa names Orchideae and Orchidaceae — more at orchidaceous

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Statistics for orchid

Last Updated

4 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for orchid

The first known use of orchid was in 1845

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More Definitions for orchid



English Language Learners Definition of orchid

: a plant with flowers that are brightly colored and that have unusual shapes
: a light purple color


or·​chid | \ ˈȯr-kəd \

Kids Definition of orchid

: a plant with usually showy flowers with three petals of which the middle petal is enlarged and differs from the others in shape and color

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More from Merriam-Webster on orchid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with orchid

Spanish Central: Translation of orchid

Nglish: Translation of orchid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of orchid for Arabic Speakers

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to deny responsibility for

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