• synonyms


noun, plural con·fer·vae [kon-fur-vee] /kɒnˈfɜr vi/, con·fer·vas.
  1. any simple filamentous green algae, many of which were formerly classified in the genus Conferva.
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Origin of conferva

1630–40; < Latin: a certain water plant supposed to heal wounds, akin to confervēre to grow together, heal (see con-, fervent)
Related formscon·fer·val, con·fer·vous [kuh n-fur-vuh s] /kənˈfɜr vəs/, adjectivecon·fer·void [kon-fur-void] /kɒnˈfɜr vɔɪd/, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for conferva

Historical Examples

  • Our mass of conferva turns out to contain one of the most elegant species.

    Marvels of Pond-life

    Henry J. Slack

  • But if the conferva or parasitic fungus exceeds its allies in the above respects, it will then be dominant within its own class.

  • In the hottest water of the hot springs I collected three species of Conferva.

  • In the stomach of C. balnaris I found a considerable quantity of a conferva, too much, I think, to have got in accidentally.

  • The consequence has been an excessive growth of a conferva which is indigenous to these lakes and confined to them.

British Dictionary definitions for conferva


noun plural -vae (-viː) or -vas
  1. any of various threadlike green algae, esp any of the genus Tribonema, typically occurring in fresh water
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Derived Formsconferval, adjectiveconfervoid, noun, adjective

Word Origin

C18: from Latin: a water plant, from confervēre to grow together, heal, literally: to seethe, from fervēre to boil; named with reference to its reputed healing properties
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