One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of mosses of the family Mniaceae (order Bryales), whose members have broad, sometimes reddish leaves and often drooping capsules, and are found throughout much of the northern hemisphere; (also mnium) a moss of this genus.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in New & Complete Dictionary Arts & Science. From post-classical Latin Mnium (J. J. Dillenius Historia Muscorum 232) from Hellenistic Greek μνίον seaweed, of unknown origin.
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