• synonyms


noun Botany.
  1. any of the Cryptogamia, a former primary division of plants that have no true flowers or seeds and that reproduce by spores, as the ferns, mosses, fungi, and algae.
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Origin of cryptogam

From the New Latin word Cryptogamia, dating back to 1840–50. See crypto-, -gamy
Related formscryp·to·gam·ic, cryp·tog·a·mous [krip-tog-uh-muh s] /krɪpˈtɒg ə məs/, cryp·to·gam·i·cal, adjectivecryp·tog·a·mist, nouncryp·tog·a·my, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cryptogam

Historical Examples

  • This irritation induces abnormal proliferation of epithelium, upon which the spores of the cryptogam then germinate.

    A System of Practical Medicine By American Authors, Vol. II


  • The papilla continues to elongate and the cryptogam to increase, until finally it invades nearly the entire length of the papilla.

  • They mock at wounds who never confronted a foe more tangible than a Baconian cryptogam.

  • The insect which seeks it does not come from a distance; it inhabits the places wherein the cryptogam is found.

British Dictionary definitions for cryptogam


  1. (in former plant classification schemes) any organism that does not produce seeds, including algae, fungi, mosses, and fernsCompare phanerogam
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Derived Formscryptogamic or cryptogamous (krɪpˈtɒɡəməs), adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin Cryptogamia, from crypto- + Greek gamos marriage
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