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[sahy-kad] /ˈsaɪ kæd/
any gymnospermous plant of the order Cycadales, intermediate in appearance between ferns and the palms, many species having a thick, unbranched, columnar trunk bearing a crown of large, leathery, pinnate leaves.
Origin of cycad
1835-45; < New Latin Cycad- (stem of Cycas) genus name < Greek kýkas, misspelling of kóïkas, accusative plural of kóïx kind of palm
Related forms
cycadlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for cycad


any tropical or subtropical gymnosperm plant of the phylum Cycadophyta, having an unbranched stem with fernlike leaves crowded at the top See also sago palm (sense 2)
Derived Forms
cycadaceous, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin Cycas name of genus, from Greek kukas, scribe's error for koïkas, from koïx a kind of palm, probably of Egyptian origin
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
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Word Origin and History for cycad

1845, Modern Latin, from Greek kykas, a word found in Theophrastus, but now thought to be a scribal error for koikas "palm trees," accusative plural of koix, a word from an unknown non-Greek language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cycad in Science
Any of various evergreen plants that live in tropical and subtropical regions, have large feathery leaves, and resemble palm trees in that most leaves cluster around the top of the stem. Cycads are gymnosperms that bear conelike reproductive structures at the top of the stem, with male and female cones borne on different plants. Cycads were common in many parts of the Earth during the Jurassic Period and survive today in about 250 species. Sago palms are cycads.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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