Definition of ginkgo in English:


(also gingko)

Pronunciation /ˈɡɪŋkɡəʊ//ˈɡɪŋkəʊ/


  • A deciduous Chinese tree related to the conifers, with fan-shaped leaves and yellow flowers. It has a number of primitive features and is similar to some Jurassic fossils.

    Ginkgo biloba, the only living member of the family Ginkgoaceae and order Ginkgoales, class Coniferopsida

    Also called maidenhair tree
    • ‘On land, the vegetation generally consisted of conifers, cycads, ginkgos, ferns and horsetails.’
    • ‘Investigators have suggested that these fossils represent new growth from cycads, deciduous trees, ginkgos and, most commonly, conifer trees.’
    • ‘Many of the plants are endangered species, including the dove tree and the ginkgo.’
    • ‘Plant life consisted mainly of ferns and seed-ferns, with new plants like conifers and ginkgos coming into prominence.’
    • ‘The scientists analysed fossils of gingkoes and ferns that were growing at the time to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide that was in the air.’


Late 18th century: from Japanese ginkyō, from Chinese yínxìng.