orchid

[ awr-kid ]
/ ˈɔr kɪd /

noun

any terrestrial or epiphytic plant of the family Orchidaceae, of temperate and tropical regions, having usually showy flowers.Compare orchid family.
the flower of any of these plants.
a bluish to reddish purple.

Nearby words

  1. orchestration,
  2. orchestrina,
  3. orchestrion,
  4. orchi-,
  5. orchialgia,
  6. orchid family,
  7. orchid tree,
  8. orchid-,
  9. orchidaceous,
  10. orchidectomy

Origin of orchid

1835–45; < New Latin Orchideae (later Orchidaceae) family name, equivalent to Latin orch(is) a plant (see orchis) + -ideae, irregular suffix (cf. -idae); see -id2

orchid-

variant of orchido- before a vowel: orchidology.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for orchid


British Dictionary definitions for orchid

orchid

/ (ˈɔːkɪd) /

noun

any terrestrial or epiphytic plant of the family Orchidaceae, often having flowers of unusual shapes and beautiful colours, specialized for pollination by certain insectsSee bee orchid, burnt-tip orchid, fly orchid, frog orchid, lady orchid, lizard orchid, man orchid, monkey orchid, purple-fringed orchid, pyramidal orchid, scented orchid, spider orchid, spotted orchid

Word Origin for orchid

C19: from New Latin Orchideae; see orchis

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

Word Origin and History for orchid

orchid

n.

1845, introduced by John Lindley in "School Botanty," from Modern Latin Orchideæ (Linnaeus), the plant's family name, from Latin orchis, a kind of orchid, from Greek orkhis (genitive orkheos) "orchid," literally "testicle," from PIE *orghi-, the standard root for "testicle" (cf. Avestan erezi "testicles," Armenian orjik, Middle Irish uirgge, Irish uirge "testicle," Lithuanian erzilas "stallion"). The plant so called because of the shape of its root. Earlier in English in Latin form, orchis (1560s), and in Middle English it was ballockwort (c.1300; see ballocks). Marred by extraneous -d- in an attempt to extract the Latin stem.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper