Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

liverwort

[liv-er-wurt, -wawrt]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any mosslike plant of the class Hepaticae, growing chiefly on damp ground, rocks, or on tree trunks and helping the decay of logs and the disintegration of rocks.
Show More

Origin of liverwort

before 1100; Middle English; late Old English liferwyrt. See liver1, wort2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for liverwort

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for liverwort

liverwort

noun
  1. any bryophyte plant of the phylum Hepatophyta, growing in wet places and resembling green seaweeds or leafy mossesSee also scale moss
Show More

Word Origin

late Old English liferwyrt
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 liverwort

n.

late Old English lifenwyrt, from lifer (see liver (n.1)) + wyrt (see wort). A loan-translation of Medieval Latin hepatica. Applied to various plants with liver-shaped leaves or that were used to treat liver disorders. Cf. German leberkraut.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

liverwort in Science

liverwort

[lĭvər-wûrt′, -wôrt′]
  1. Any of numerous small, green nonvascular plants of the division Marchantiophyta. Many liverworts reproduce asexually by means of gemmae. They also reproduce sexually, and their free-swimming sperm, produced in structures called antheridia, require liquid water, such as splashing raindrops, to reach the egg-producing archegonia. After fertilization, the small sporophyte grows directly on or in the gametophyte and is nourished by it. Liverworts are common in the tropics and often grow in moist soil, on damp rocks, and on tree trunks. Some liverworts have leafy bodies, while others have only a simple thallus. The name liverwort comes from the liverlike shape of the thalli of some species. See more at bryophyte.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.