orchidaceous

adjective
or·​chi·​da·​ceous | \ ˌȯr-kə-ˈdā-shəs How to pronounce orchidaceous (audio) \

Definition of orchidaceous

1 : of, relating to, or resembling the orchids

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

In its sense first used by botanists in the 1830s, orchidaceous means "belonging to the family Orchidaceae"-that is, to the orchid family, a very large family of flowering plants. While the basic shape of an orchid is simple-three petals with, on many orchids, an enlarged middle petal-there is no such thing as a typical orchid. Orchids range in size from very tiny flowers on inch-high plants to flowers a foot across, and they grow in habitats from tropical rain forests to semideserts. But when people use orchidaceous as a synonym for "flashy" in phrases like "orchidaceous writing," "orchidaceous colors," and "orchidaceous ladies," it's the colorful, showy tropical species they have in mind-species which, as Jacob Breynius, a 17th-century German botanist, put it, "surely excite our greatest admiration."

Examples of orchidaceous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Stefano and Domenico looked to Donna Floria’s orchidaceous Belle Epoque beauty and famous clothes for aspects of their alta moda collection. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Vogue’s Hamish Bowles on His Molto Alta Weekend in Palermo With Dolce & Gabbana," 11 July 2017

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

First Known Use of orchidaceous

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for orchidaceous

New Latin Orchidaceae, family name (re-formation of earlier Orchideae, from orchid-, erroneously taken as the stem of Latin orchis "orchid" + -eae, feminine plural of Latin -eus -eous) + -ous — more at orchis

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about orchidaceous

Time Traveler for orchidaceous

Time Traveler

The first known use of orchidaceous was in 1838

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about orchidaceous

Statistics for orchidaceous

Cite this Entry

“Orchidaceous.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orchidaceous. Accessed 19 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on orchidaceous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with orchidaceous

Comments on orchidaceous

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!