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fern seed

the spores of ferns, formerly supposed to have the power to make persons invisible.
Origin of fern seed
1590-1600 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for fern-seed
Historical Examples
  • Those who eat of this fern-seed, she remembered as she sank into sleep that night, shall see the fairies!

    The Wolves of God Algernon Blackwood
  • Like other magical plants, mistletoe is gathered at the solstices, when fern-seed is fabled to flame.

    Magic and Religion Andrew Lang
  • Nay, by my faith; I think you are more beholden to the night, than to fern-seed, for your walking invisible.

  • The first thing to be done was to get rid of the fern-seed, which she now regarded as a hateful thing.

    A Round Dozen Susan Coolidge
  • A very ancient method prescribed for obtaining the mystic fern-seed is given by Dr. Kuhn.

  • I might as well have "had the receipt of fern-seed and walked invisible" for all the attention I excited.

  • So he took them off, and shook out the fern-seed, and as he did so he became visible again to everybody.

  • At one period it was believed that "fern-seed," as the fern-spores were called, possessed various miraculous powers.

    How to Know the Ferns Frances Theodora Parsons
  • As for Eglantine and King Charming, they never again found use for the fern-seed powder.

    The Old-Fashioned Fairy Book Constance Cary Harrison
  • Nay, I think rather you are more beholden to the night than to fern-seed, for your walking invisible.

    How to Know the Ferns Frances Theodora Parsons
British Dictionary definitions for fern-seed

fern seed

the minute particles by which ferns reproduce themselves, formerly thought to be invisible. Possession of them was thought to make a person invisible
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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