or·​chis | \ ˈȯr-kəs How to pronounce orchis (audio) \

Definition of orchis

: orchid especially : any of a genus (Orchis) of orchids with fleshy roots and a spurred lip

Examples of orchis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In orchids, myth and folk medicine meet The word of the day: orchis. National Geographic, "Holographic elephants shine new light on tradition—and other innovations," 5 Nov. 2019

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

First Known Use of orchis

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for orchis

borrowed from Latin (New Latin as a genus name), borrowed from Greek órchis "testicle, orchid" (the latter sense from the testicle-like shape of the paired tubers of some species), going back to Indo-European *h3erǵh-i-, whence also, with differing suffixation and ablaut, Armenian orjik‛ "testicles," Albanian herdhe, Middle Irish uirge, Avestan ərəzi, Hittite arki- "testicle," ark- "mount, copulate (with)" and, as a suffixed noun derivative, Lithuanian er̃žilas (dialectal ar̃žilas) "stallion"

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Time Traveler for orchis

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The first known use of orchis was in 1859

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Cite this Entry

“Orchis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orchis. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on orchis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with orchis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orchis

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