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conifer

[koh-nuh-fer, kon-uh-]
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noun
  1. any of numerous, chiefly evergreen trees or shrubs of the class Coniferinae (or group Coniferales), including the pine, fir, spruce, and other cone-bearing trees and shrubs, and also the yews and their allies that bear drupelike seeds.
  2. a plant producing naked seeds in cones, or single naked seeds as in yews, but with pollen always borne in cones.
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Origin of conifer

1350–1400; Middle English conefere < Latin cōnifer coniferous, equivalent to cōn(us) cone + -i- + -fer -fer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for conifer

conifer

noun
  1. any gymnosperm tree or shrub of the phylum Coniferophyta, typically bearing cones and evergreen leaves. The group includes the pines, spruces, firs, larches, yews, junipers, cedars, cypresses, and sequoias
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Word Origin

C19: from Latin, from cōnus cone + ferre to bear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for conifer

n.

1851, from Latin conifer "cone-bearing, bearing conical fruit," from conus "cone" (see cone) + ferre "to bear" (see infer).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

conifer in Science

conifer

[kŏnə-fər]
  1. Any of various gymnosperms that bear their reproductive structures in cones and belong to the phylum Coniferophyta. Conifers evolved around 300 million years ago and, as a group, show many adaptations to drier and cooler environments. They are usually evergreen and often have drought-resistant leaves that are needle-shaped or scalelike. They depend on the wind to blow pollen produced by male cones to female cones, where fertilization takes place and seeds develop. Conifers are widely distributed, but conifer species dominate the northern forest biome known as the taiga. There are some 550 species of conifers, including the pines, firs, spruces, hemlocks, cypresses, junipers, yews, and redwoods. See more at pollination seed-bearing plant.
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Related formsconiferous adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.