Definition of conifer in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈkɒnɪfə//ˈkəʊnɪfə/


  • A tree which bears cones and needle-like or scale-like leaves that are typically evergreen. Conifers are of major importance as the source of softwood, and also supply resins and turpentine.

    • ‘They usually perch in the open at the very top of a conifer or snag or in a small tree.’
    • ‘The hard, yellowish material is a fossil form of the sticky sap that oozes from trees such as pines and other conifers.’
    • ‘Tolerant of cold winds and frost, its height makes it an ideal pot plant in a mixed bed of carpeting heathers and ground-covering conifers.’
    • ‘Evergreen trees, including many conifers, support more leaf area than deciduous trees in the same environment.’
    • ‘One damaged chestnut tree and five mature conifers had to be removed.’
    • ‘There are scores of richly coloured evergreens and conifers too.’
    • ‘It is a good time to buy and plant conifers and evergreens, summer-flowering bulbs and dahlia tubers.’
    • ‘The famous giant redwood is a large evergreen conifer, whereas, in contrast, the dawn redwood is a deciduous conifer.’
    • ‘Originally from China, it is one of the planet's oldest species and is a conifer despite its maidenhair fern-like leaves.’
    • ‘Some dwarf conifers, such as bird's nest spruce, grow very slowly, as little as an inch per year.’
    • ‘It contains narcissi and a slow-growing conifer, which will soon be too big.’
    • ‘Most conifers and a few hardwoods, such as sweetgum and tuliptree, have excurrent forms.’
    • ‘Gymnosperms, including conifers, gingkoes, and cycads, were very numerous, as were ferns and horsetails.’
    • ‘Dogwoods and conifers were carefully planted to create a dramatic, modern Scottish garden with a pretty waterfall at the bottom.’
    • ‘They do not need a wall and are happy to scramble over heathers, conifers, trees or hedges.’
    • ‘Tree nests are located on the branch of a mature conifer, up to 150 feet off the ground.’
    • ‘One of our neighbours has had to have the tree men round to take down a big conifer as they were worried it was going to blown down onto the road.’
    • ‘Dense shade can also occur under trees with dense foliage such as Norway maples and some conifers.’
    • ‘Astonishingly though, it's a conifer and is one of the oldest surviving tree species on earth.’
    • ‘Juniper is one of Britain's three native species of conifer and is evergreen with short spiny leaves.’


Mid 19th century: from Latin, literally cone-bearing, from conus (see cone).