Definition of cycad in English:



  • A palmlike plant of tropical and subtropical regions, bearing large male or female cones. Cycads were abundant during the Triassic and Jurassic eras, but have since been in decline.

    • ‘Modern cycads are tropical plants whose ancestors can be traced in the fossil record for about 300 million years.’
    • ‘Instead of ponderosa pines, the dominant plants were cycads, which resemble tree ferns.’
    • ‘Though they are often among the larger plants in their environment, cycads are no longer abundant or dominant components of the world flora.’
    • ‘In their time, Brent and Barbara have experimented with a wide range of plants, but their obsession is for cycads, a winning trend in gardening today.’
    • ‘We made good time, leaving the bitter pea fields to enter a different landscape of blackbutt forest interspersed with hundreds of grass trees and the occasional cycad.’
    • ‘On land, the vegetation generally consisted of conifers, cycads, ginkgos, ferns and horsetails.’
    • ‘Both cycads and ginkgoes are dioecious, which means male and female reproductive structures are located on different plants.’
    • ‘He suggests that the link between plants and man lies hidden in primeval ecosystems inhabited by cycads, rhizomes and coral.’
    • ‘Since form is a main feature of the impact of a winter garden, indigenous plants such as cycads and aloes do not necessarily look amiss when included in a garden planting that already has these mature exotics in it.’
    • ‘A few species of cycads still exist in tropical and sub-tropical regions today, and although they are used as ornamental plants some of them are facing possible extinction.’
    • ‘A cycad looks like a palm tree with fernlike leaves, but proves that it is not a palm by producing cones, often resembling those of a pine but sometimes far larger.’
    • ‘By the end of the Paleozoic, cycads, glossopterids, primitive conifers, and ferns were spreading across the landscape.’
    • ‘Plants with strong forms predominate, notably agaves and cycads, which complement the existing bird of paradise and queen palm.’
    • ‘A marigold may take three days to germinate, a cycad may take three months.’
    • ‘Chandler thought the seeds most closely resembled those of true cycads.’
    • ‘These plants looked similar to modern cycads but contained cones in their trunks instead of on top of the plant.’
    • ‘The coastal palms and cycads in the area are quite beautiful.’
    • ‘Ginkgo trees, like some conifers and cycads, are dioecious, producing pollen and seeds on separate trees.’
    • ‘The garden has been established for many years, and contains large specimens of both palms and cycads.’
    • ‘The early Mesozoic was dominated by ferns, cycads, ginkgophytes, bennettitaleans, and other unusual plants.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Cycas, Cycad- (order name), from supposed Greek kukas, scribal error for koikas, plural of koix ‘Egyptian palm’.