or·​chid | \ ˈȯr-kəd How to pronounce orchid (audio) \

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 How to pronounce orchidlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of orchid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Lilies, ranunculus, orchids, and blooming branches typically last longer than other floral types. Nikhita Mahtani, House Beautiful, "Absolutely Foolproof Ways to Make Spring Flowers Last Longer," 3 Apr. 2019 Add to that, dyed versions of the most popular of orchids. Roxanne Washington, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Botanical Garden 'Orchid Mania' begins: hours, ticket information," 26 Jan. 2018 Vanilla worldwide About 110 species of vanilla orchids grow worldwide in a belt of tropical and subtropical environment stretching from the Americas, across Africa and southern Asia, to the islands of the Pacific. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Israeli tomb contains a tasty surprise: Vanilla extract," 20 Nov. 2018 Come to hand-pick your own bouquet (just 'cause) or to pick up an orchid, a common gift in Hong Kong. Janice Leung Hayes, Condé Nast Traveler, "23 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong," 27 Feb. 2018 Other features include shade houses, a greenhouse, propagation area for orchids and vegetable garden. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Spring garden tour returns to Rancho Bernardo, Poway," 7 Mar. 2018 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

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

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for orchid

The first known use of orchid was in 1845

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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 How to pronounce orchid (audio) \

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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What made you want to look up orchid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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