spo·​ro·​phyte ˈspȯr-ə-ˌfīt How to pronounce sporophyte (audio)
plural sporophytes
: the diploid, multicellular, asexual reproductive stage in plants and algae that develops from the zygote and that produces spores
The plants most people readily recognize as ferns actually are the sporophytes; the gametophyte may be completely overlooked as green fuzz growing on the side of the pot.Donald E. Fosket
compare gametophyte
sporophytic adjective
sporophytic growth of a plant

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sporophyte was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near sporophyte

Cite this Entry

“Sporophyte.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sporophyte. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


spo·​ro·​phyte ˈspōr-ə-ˌfīt How to pronounce sporophyte (audio)
: the individual or generation of a plant having alternating sexual and asexual generations that produces asexual spores compare gametophyte

Medical Definition


spo·​ro·​phyte -ˌfīt How to pronounce sporophyte (audio)
: an individual or generation of a plant exhibiting alternation of generations that bears asexual spores, is usually not clearly differentiated in algae and fungi, and in vascular plants is the conspicuous form ordinarily seen compare gametophyte
sporophytic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on sporophyte

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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