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male fern

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noun

a bright-green fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, of Europe and northeastern North America.

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Origin of male fern

First recorded in 1555–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for male fern

male fern

noun

a fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, having scaly stalks and pinnate fronds with kidney-shaped spore-producing bodies on the underside: family Polypodiaceae

Word Origin for male fern

C16: so called because it was formerly believed to be the male of the lady fern
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
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