Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A deciduous, dioecious tree (Ginkgo biloba) native to China and having fan-shaped leaves and fleshy yellowish seeds with a disagreeable odor. The male plants are often grown as ornamental street trees. Also called maidenhair tree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Ginkgo biloba, a tree native to China with small, fan-shaped leaves and edible seeds.
  • n. The seed of the ginkgo tree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large ornamental tree (Ginkgo biloba) from China and Japan, belonging to the Yew suborder of Coniferæ. Its leaves are so like those of some maidenhair ferns, that it is also called the maidenhair tree.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See gingko, 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. deciduous dioecious Chinese tree having fan-shaped leaves and fleshy yellow seeds; exists almost exclusively in cultivation especially as an ornamental street tree

Etymologies

Probably from ginkō, an artificial or mistaken Sino-Japanese reading of the Chinese characters for ginkgo : Japanese gin, silver (from Middle Chinese ŋin) + Japanese kō, kyō, apricot (from Middle Chinese).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Chinese 鴨脚 (yājiǎo) "duck feet" due to the shape of the leaves, the pronunciation then changing (along with the characters) to 銀杏 (yínxìng) "silver apricot". The same characters 銀杏 are used in Japanese (ichō) and Korean (eunhang). The Japanese characters used to write ginkgo look as though they could be read ginkyō, and this was the name Engelbert Kaempfer, the first Westerner to see the species in 1690, wrote down in his Amoenitates Exoticae (1712). However, his "y" was misread as a "g", and the misspelling stuck. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And there's limited research to show that an herbal remedy called ginkgo biloba may help a little.

    Drug "breakthrough" for Alzheimer's?

  • He suggests "a really useful and minimal spelling reform" based on his rules "I met a traveller from an anteke land hu sed: Tue vast and trunkless legs of stone..." and ends with a section of unyielding oddities, the last of which is a word that's been discussed here:While we're at it, could we please fix the word ginkgo, which is not only difficult and irregular, but doesn't reflect any proper Japanese word?

    languagehat.com: ENGLISH SPELLING.

  • Please accept this suggestion in a helpful manner and not a smarty-pants way, but it's "ginkgo," not "gingko."

    Offering a Bounty - A Dress A Day

  • I found lots of fabric, not that particular one, though try searching "ginkgo" instead of "ginko".

    Offering a Bounty - A Dress A Day

  • People also talk about other things such as ginkgo possibly having some anecdotal benefits as well with Alzheimer's, but there is a that we don't know about this disease.

    CNN Transcript Sep 6, 2002

  • Herbs such as ginkgo biloba can also be very helpful where the eyesight problems result from circulatory problems.

    EzineArticles

  • Some "living fossils" such as ginkgo trees, coelacanth fish and tuatara reptiles appear virtually the same today as their ancestors, which co-existed with the dinosaurs 100m years ago, while in the African Great Lakes thousands of new species of cichlid fish have appeared within the past

    Top Stories - Google News

  • People rushing about the Cologne trade show were able to relax with an anti-stress drink mixture made of nettles grown in Germany and ingredients from the Far East such as ginkgo, ginseng and aloe vera.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • § Content of the messages o The goal of awareness should be very clear from the outset and there should be a distinction between what is a public health approach and what accounts for individual strategy (care giving is a individual strategy while generic awareness of the disease is a public health strategy). o Differentiation between normal aging and age associated memory impairment (AAMI) and benign senescent forgetfulness (BSF) of normal aging process. o Clarification of the 3 words that are used inter-changeably - aging, dementia and Alzheimer's Disease o Lack of permanent cure (warn people against high expectations from various drugs and others substances such as ginkgo biloba) and importance of care for the patient and support for the caregiver o Right information on ethical dilemmas such as tube feeding and palliative care in the terminal stage o Right information on the experiments conducted on curcumin o The demographic impact of Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias in developing countries such as India o Clear signs of Alzheimer's Disease such as forgetting names, loss of interest in hobbies, unable to manage money, unable to do simple housekeeping tasks or cooking should be highlighted in the awareness campaigns so that people can identify Alzheimer's Disease in the elderly

    National Dementia Strategy Consultative Meeting of Experts ���Western India���

  • When I was in elementary school in Tokyo, my friends and I used to walk past a really stinky ginkgo biloba tree.

    Boing Boing

Comments

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  • Thanks, Fox! A lovely poem.

    September 15, 2009

  • Goethe's ginkgo poem

    Dieses Baums Blatt, der von Osten
    Meinem Garten anvertraut,
    Gibt geheimen Sinn zu kosten,
    Wie's den Wissenden erbaut.

    Ist es ein lebendig Wesen,
    Das sich in sich selbst getrennt?
    Sind es zwei, die sich erlesen,
    Dasz man sie als Eines kennt?

    Solche Frage zu erwidern,
    Fand ich wohl den rechten Sinn:
    Fühlst du nicht an meinen Liedern,
    Dasz ich Eins und doppelt bin?

    ****************


    This leaf from a tree in the East,
    Has been given to my garden.
    It reveals a certain secret,
    Which pleases me and thoughtful people.

    Does it represent One living creature
    Which has divided itself?
    Or are these Two, which have decided,
    That they should be as One?

    To reply to such a Question,
    I found the right answer:
    Do you notice in my songs and verses
    That I am One and Two?

    September 15, 2009

  • Ginkgo is a gymnosperm, like pines, spruces cedars and cycads. It is deciduous (becomes leafless in winter), a character it shares with just a few other gymnosperms such as the larch, dawn redwood, bald cypress, and the Chinese swamp cypress Glyptostrobus. Both Ginkgo and Glyptostrobus are monotypic taxa, in that they are the single living species of their respective plant families.

    Fossil remains of Ginkgo are known from the Permian through the Miocene geologic intervals in North America.

    January 1, 2009