1. any of numerous, usually epiphytic tropical American plants, having long, stiff leaves and showy flowers, and including the pineapple, Spanish moss, and many species grown as houseplants or ornamentals.

Origin of bromeliad

1865–70; < New Latin Bromeli(a), the type genus of the family (named after Olaus Bromelius (1639–1705), Swedish botanist; see -ia) + -ad1
Related formsbro·me·li·a·ceous [broh-mee-lee-ey-shuh s] /broʊˌmi liˈeɪ ʃəs/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of bromeliad

British Dictionary definitions for bromeliad


  1. any plant of the tropical American family Bromeliaceae, typically epiphytes with a rosette of fleshy leaves. The family includes the pineapple and Spanish moss
Derived Formsbromeliaceous, adjective

Word Origin for bromeliad

C19: from New Latin Bromelia type genus, after Olaf Bromelius (1639–1705), Swedish botanist
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 bromeliad

from Modern Latin Bromeliaceæ, family name given by Linnæus, for Olaus Bromel (1639-1705), Swedish botanist. Related: Bromeliads.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bromeliad in Science


  1. Any of various tropical American plants of the family Bromeliaceae, most of which are epiphytes. They usually have long stiff leaves, colorful flowers, and showy bracts. The bromeliads include the pineapple, the Spanish moss, and numerous ornamental plants.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.