Definition of orchid in English:



  • 1A plant with complex flowers that are typically showy or bizarrely shaped, having a large specialized lip (labellum) and frequently a spur. Orchids occur worldwide, especially as epiphytes in tropical forests, and are valuable hothouse plants.

    • ‘Meanwhile, a large number of plants, such as orchids and sandalwood, have been smuggled into domestic and overseas markets.’
    • ‘Use the shelf created by the window for an orchid or another tropical plant.’
    • ‘Other flowers that work well include stephanotis, tulips and orchids.’
    • ‘The venue is a hotel resort set in a lush tropical garden overflowing with orchids and other native flowers.’
    • ‘The next phase will be completed by next July, which will then include up to 10,000 plant species from banana plants to rare orchids.’
    • ‘To maintain the supply of orchids and tropical plants, the company has a tissue culture lab that can produce two to three million plants a year.’
    • ‘Flowering epiphytes - bromeliads, orchids and cacti - are presented most commonly.’
    • ‘This common, damaging pest likes to feed on the roots of Hawaii's colorful and exotic tropical orchids.’
    • ‘Blooming plants such as orchids and kalanchoe need more light than palms.’
    • ‘The plants that he uses include ferns, bromeliads, orchids and palm trees.’
    • ‘Many tropical orchids are epiphytes, growing on the side of trees, and will not do well if their roots stay wet.’
    • ‘Certain plants such as orchids and some varieties of bromeliads will do best in mediums made especially for them.’
    • ‘Only a few epiphyte ferns, orchids and bromeliads have been studied genetically.’
    • ‘Butterflies and bogflies flutter above and around trefoils, daisies, clovers, sea-pinks and orchids.’
    • ‘Bamboos, ferns, bromeliads, epiphytes and orchids will all thrive in this microclimate.’
    • ‘Where else can you grow bromeliads and orchids outside by simply hanging them in trees?’
    • ‘Lady slippers and some kinds of cymbidium are terrestrial orchids.’
    • ‘There were white roses, pink roses, bright yellow sunflowers, lilies, daisies and orchids.’
    • ‘Sales of orchids and other tropical plants amount to a huge export industry.’
    • ‘Because orchids are primarily tropical epiphytes and small herbs, they do not have a fossil record.’
    1. 1.1The flowering stem of a cultivated orchid.
      • ‘The church people gave out corsages to the mothers, and of course the flower pinned to the leaf was an orchid.’
      • ‘Anthuriums, orchids and lilies remain unspoilt for at least 10 to 15 days.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Orchid(ac)eae, formed irregularly from Latin orchis (see orchis).