any seedless, nonflowering vascular plant of the class Filicinae, of tropical to temperate regions, characterized by true roots produced from a rhizome, triangular fronds that uncoil upward and have a branching vein system, and reproduction by spores contained in sporangia that appear as brown dots on the underside of the fronds.
- fernless, adjective
- fernlike, adjective
Other definitions for Fern (2 of 2)
a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use fern in a sentence
Frances McDormand plays fern, one of a growing number of American seniors who find themselves, at the end of a long life of working hard, with very little to show for it.
In Nomadland, the same gorgeous landscapes emphasize the chest-pinching loneliness of a life like fern’s.
Swankie has been on the road for over 10 years—and her fictionalized counterpart strikes up a friendship with fern before embarking on her own journey to Alaska.What to Know About Nomadland and the Real-Life Community Behind the Movie | Annabel Gutterman | February 15, 2021 | Time
Before they part ways, a young girl who fern used to tutor tells her that her mother says fern is homeless.What to Know About Nomadland and the Real-Life Community Behind the Movie | Annabel Gutterman | February 15, 2021 | Time
The possibility of snatching a flower or fern from the jaws of extinction has fired up a community of enthusiasts trying to document and protect what’s left of the rarest of native vegetation.How passion, luck and sweat saved some of North America’s rarest plants | Susan Milius | November 5, 2020 | Science News
“In my view, the silver fern is something which is applied to our greatest sporting teams,” said Key.
She has received the fern Holland Award from the Vital Voices Global Partnership for giving a voice to female victims.Participants in the 2011 Women in the World Summit | The Daily Beast | March 1, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
Mizrahi and Rowland will also serve as judges alongside fashion luminary and Senior Vice President of IMG Fashion, fern Mallis.Isaac Mizrahi and Kelly Rowland Host The Fashion Show | Daily Beast Promotions | May 4, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
fern cases were very much in vogue some years ago, and this is really a very delightful way of cultivating the plants.
Never grasp a fern plant from above and try to pull it away, as this will be almost sure to result in damage.
If properly dried and pressed, it is possible to preserve the fern fronds with a great deal of their natural colour.
Dwarfs in pointed hoods pricked with fern leaves whirled about these edifices in the airiest fashion.Honey-Bee | Anatole France
For a moment he lay still; and a cool fern pressed comfortingly against his cheek.God Wills It! | William Stearns Davis
British Dictionary definitions for fern
any tracheophyte plant of the phylum Filicinophyta, having roots, stems, and fronds and reproducing by spores formed in structures (sori) on the fronds: See also tree fern
any of certain similar but unrelated plants, such as the sweet fern
- fernlike, adjective
- ferny, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for fern
Any of numerous seedless vascular plants belonging to the phylum Pterophyta that reproduce by means of spores and usually have feathery fronds divided into many leaflets. Most species of ferns are homosporous (producing only one kind of spore). The haploid spore grows into a small, usually flat gametophyte known as a prothallus, which is undifferentiated into roots, stems, and leaves. The green prothallus anchors itself with hairlike extensions known as rhizoids and bears both archegonia (organs producing female gametes) and antheridia (organs producing male gametes). The male gametes require the presence of water to swim to the female gametes and fertilize the eggs. Normally only one embryo is produced, and it then grows out of the gametophyte plant as a diploid sporophyte plant that has roots, stems, and leaves and conducts photosynthesis, while the smaller gametophyte withers away. The leaves of these sporophytes eventually produce sporangia (in some species occurring in clusters known as sori). Under dry conditions, the sori burst releasing hundreds of thousands or millions of spores. Ferns were abundant in the Carboniferous period and exist today in about 11,000 species, about three-quarters of which live in tropical climates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.