Definitions

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

  • n. A member of the orchid family.
  • n. The flower of any of these plants, especially one cultivated for ornament.
  • n. A pale to light purple, from grayish to purplish pink to strong reddish purple.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a plant of the orchid family, bearing unusually-shaped flowers of beautiful colours.
  • n. a light bluish-red, violet-red or purple colour.
  • adj. having a light purple colour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any plant of the order Orchidaceæ. See orchidaceous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any plant of the natural order Orchideæ; an orchidaceous plant.

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

  • n. any of numerous plants of the orchid family usually having flowers of unusual shapes and beautiful colors

Etymologies

From New Latin Orchideae, family name, from Latin orchis, a kind of orchid, from Greek orkhis, testicle, orchid (from the shape of its tubers).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin orchis, from Ancient Greek ὄρχις (orkhis, "orchid, testicle") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • (The word "orchid" comes from the Greek word "orkhis," or testicle, which the plant's roots resemble.)

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • I heard that the astronauts can see this particular orchid from the space shuttle, they are * that* bright ...

    Orchids: the bawdiest flowers in the plant world « Sugar Creek Gardens’ Blog

  • The Tower of Babylon rose through the veil of transplanted jungle foliage and piped-in orchid scent to scrape a desert sky burned almost colorless by the Nevada sun.

    splendid isolation, i don't need no-one

  • A ride over the hills brought us to a wood of oaks, with their branches fringed with the long grey Spanish moss, and a profusion of epiphytes clinging to their bark, some splendidly in flower, showing the fantastic shapes and brilliant colours one sees in English orchid-houses.

    Anahuac : or, Mexico and the Mexicans, Ancient and Modern

  • In the wood-ways a little mauve-coloured orchid is to be found.

    Janey Canuck in the West

  • Tuesday, 19 February 2008 first signs of spring - centre piece of the month february pick whatever flowers you get at the supermarket to make this little basket filled with flowers. ranunculus are my favourites and available all over the place at the moment, so i chose to put them into this flowery centrepiece. the orchid is quite fancy but you just really need one to pimp this up (and it keeps for ever!). a rose or two, some ivy and green leaves from the forest and you are all set. to get started line a basket with some foil and trim on the edges. soak some floral foam in water and place in the basket, when soaked wet (can be really, really wet - it will have to work as a vase to the flowers), eventually cut and trim the floral on the edges, so that it resembles an arch. trim flowers and green leaves and stick into pot. start doing so on the bottom of foam, working upwards until you have an even flowery centrepiece. make sure foam stays moist - adding some water from time to time.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • In 1862, Charles Darwin correctly predicted that the Christmas star orchid, which is endemic to Madagascar, was pollinated by a moth with a 30cm-long proboscis.

    Unique night-flowering orchid found

  • There's no way I can get closer, not wearing summer sandals anyway, for between me and the orchid is an overgrown ditch.

    Country diary: South Uist

  • The orchid is a beautiful flower but can be costly.

    Dendrobium: Family Orchidaceae's tree of life

  • I identified it as a Cooktown orchid, which is Queensland's floral emblem.

    Archive 2008-01-01

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • This is why someone is so proud of being the orchid man.

    Lord, I was born an orchid man,
    Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can.

    September 16, 2008

  • Named after the Greek word orchis meaning testicle.

    January 23, 2008