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[koh-nif-er-uh s, kuh-] /koʊˈnɪf ər əs, kə-/
adjective, Botany
belonging or pertaining to the conifers.
Compare conifer (def 1).
Origin of coniferous
1655-65; see conifer, -ous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for coniferous
  • Moist soils, especially along canyons and mountain slopes in coniferous forests.
  • The region is the meeting place of the deciduous trees and the coniferous.
  • Rank vegetation, usually among dense hardwood or humid coniferous forests.
  • The sky opened and closed and opened as the trees slowly became more coniferous.
  • Dense tangles and thickets in coniferous and mixed forests.
  • coniferous forests, especially those with a mixture of spruce and pine, edges of deep forests and bogs.
  • Some mountaintops support coniferous hardwood forests.
  • Breeding: nests in a variety of habitats, from mixed coniferous forest to montane riparian.
  • Breeding: a variety of coniferous and mixed coniferous forests.
  • coniferous forests have trees with cones and needles instead of leaves.
British Dictionary definitions for coniferous


/kəˈnɪfərəs; kɒ-/
of, relating to, or belonging to the plant phylum Coniferophyta See conifer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coniferous

1660s, from conifer + -ous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coniferous in Science
Any of various gymnosperms that bear their reproductive structures in cones and belong to the phylum Coniferophyta. Conifers evolved around 300 million years ago and, as a group, show many adaptations to drier and cooler environments. They are usually evergreen and often have drought-resistant leaves that are needle-shaped or scalelike. They depend on the wind to blow pollen produced by male cones to female cones, where fertilization takes place and seeds develop. Conifers are widely distributed, but conifer species dominate the northern forest biome known as the taiga. There are some 550 species of conifers, including the pines, firs, spruces, hemlocks, cypresses, junipers, yews, and redwoods. See more at pollination, seed-bearing plant.

coniferous adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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