1845, Modern Latin, from Greek kykas, a word found in Theophrastus, but now thought to be a scribal error for koikas "palm trees," accusative plural of koix, a word from an unknown non-Greek language.
Any of various evergreen plants that live in tropical and subtropical regions, have large feathery leaves, and resemble palm trees in that most leaves cluster around the top of the stem. Cycads are gymnosperms that bear conelike reproductive structures at the top of the stem, with male and female cones borne on different plants. Cycads were common in many parts of the Earth during the Jurassic Period and survive today in about 250 species. Sago palms are cycads.