One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant with no distinct seed leaves, especially a fern or moss.
- ‘Jussieu classifies plants on the basis of cotyledons, and divides all plants into acotyledons, monocotyledons, and dicotyledons.’
- ‘Acotyledons are plants not furnished with cotyledons or seed-lobes, such as ferns, mosses and sea-weeds.’
- ‘One of these determinables is number of cotyledons under which fall the determinates acotyledon, monocotyledon, and dicotyledon.’
Mid 18th century: from modern Latin plural acotyledones (see a-, cotyledon).
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