- a large shade tree, Ginkgo biloba, native to China, having fan-shaped leaves and fleshy seeds with edible kernels: the sole surviving species of the gymnosperm family Ginkgoaceae, which thrived in the Jurassic Period, and existing almost exclusively in cultivation.
Origin of ginkgo
1765–75; < NL representation of Japanese ginkyō, equivalent to gin silver (< Chinese) + kyō apricot (< Chin)
Also called maidenhair-tree.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ginkgo
The Japanese ginkgo, or maidenhair fern tree, is an old-fashioned conifer somewhat like those first examples of this family.Earth and Sky Every Child Should Know
Julia Ellen Rogers
I was surprised, after a long hard winter, to find the Ginkgo trees still alive and gaining growth.
I have included among the specimens here today nuts of the ginkgo because that tree belongs among the conifers in natural order.
Most of the Ginkgo trees are males, but one may graft any number of males with bearing female scions.
Leaf impressions of Ginkgo are found in rocks of nearly all ages back even to the Upper Palæozoic.Ancient Plants
Marie C. Stopes
- a widely planted ornamental Chinese gymnosperm tree, Ginkgo biloba, with fan-shaped deciduous leaves and fleshy yellow fruit: phylum Ginkgophyta . It is used in herbal remedies and as a food supplementAlso called: maidenhair tree
C18: from Japanese ginkyō, from Ancient Chinese yin silver + hang apricot
Word Origin and History for ginkgo
1773, from Japanese ginkyo, from Chinese yin-hing, from yin "silver" + hing "apricot" (Sino-Japanese kyo). Introduced to New World 1784 by William Hamilton in his garden near Philadelphia.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A deciduous, dioecious tree (Ginkgo biloba) which is the sole surviving member of the Ginkgoales, an order of gymnosperms that was extremely widespread in the Mesozoic era. It belongs to a genus which has changed very little since the end of the Jurassic period. The tree, a native of China, has fan-shaped leaves and fleshy yellowish seeds containing an edible kernel. Ginkgoes are often grown as ornamental street trees.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.