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 The fair will offer both native and exotic plans from all over the state including orchids, air plants, fruit trees, bamboo and bromeliads. Jerry Fallstrom, orlandosentinel.com, "Mount Dora Plant and Garden Fair returns for 25th year," 6 Nov. 2019 Slather on the bug spray and meander this spectacular collection of giant ferns and tiny orchids and craggy lava rock spilling into the sea at the bottom of the garden. Pam Mandel, SFChronicle.com, "One Day One Place: Hawaii’s Hamakua Coast," 8 Oct. 2019 Trytek, a Deerfield resident, is displaying two photographs, one of a pink rose and the other of an orchid. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Inspiration blooms at botanic garden for Deerfield artists," 23 Sep. 2019 In the park, the diverse flora includes the wild banana orchid ⁠— the national flower of the island ⁠— and a silk floss tree that toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Adrienne Jordan, USA TODAY, "5 things first-timers should do in Grand Cayman, from snorkeling with stingrays to bioluminescent kayaking," 9 July 2019 Wu wore a floral dress with swirls of turquoise, and a waxy white orchid was about to be pinned behind her ear. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Constance Wu’s Hollywood Destiny," 16 Sep. 2019 Plant’s pollinator secrets revealed For exotic beauty, few flowers rival the ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii). National Geographic, "Our three favorite scientific breakthroughs this month," 22 July 2019 The fragrance combines hints of lavender, pear, bergamot with coconut, praline and vanilla orchid, all pulled together with a base component of cashmere, just like your favorite, most comfy sweater. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's 'Cloud' Wins Fragrance of the Year Award," 6 June 2019 The Orchid Society of Southern California’s Annual Orchid Auction promises a range of orchids, many in full bloom. Jeanette Marantos, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Gardening events: Begonias, orchids and tours of water-wise yards at historic homes.," 4 May 2019

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

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for orchid

The first known use of orchid was in 1845

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More Definitions for orchid


How to pronounce orchid (audio)

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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