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male fern

a bright-green fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, of Europe and northeastern North America.
Origin of male fern
1555-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for male-fern
Historical Examples
  • Two hours after breakfast next morning give one-half dram of the oleoresin of male-fern in emulsion or capsule.

  • After male-fern capsules it is quite unnecessary to give any aperient.

    A Manual of Toy Dogs Mrs. Leslie Williams
  • On the following day, some tapeworm proglottides having been evacuated, both salts and male-fern extract were administered.

    Parasites T. Spencer Cobbold
  • male-fern, official in the United States Pharmacopoeia, has been used since the remotest times as a remedy for worms.

    Ginseng and Other Medicinal Plants A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding
  • After that age it is safe to give very small doses of oil of male-fern and absolutely minute ones of santonine.

    A Manual of Toy Dogs Mrs. Leslie Williams
British Dictionary definitions for male-fern

male fern

a fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, having scaly stalks and pinnate fronds with kidney-shaped spore-producing bodies on the underside: family Polypodiaceae
Word Origin
C16: so called because it was formerly believed to be the male of the lady fern
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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