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Any of several ferns of the genus Osmunda, such as the royal fern, or formerly classified in this genus, such as the cinnamon fern, having bipinnately compound sterile fronds and separate spore-bearing fertile fronds. The fibrous roots of certain osmunda ferns were once widely used as a potting medium.
[New Latin Osmunda, genus name, from Medieval Latin osmunda, any of various ferns, especially the royal fern, from Old French osmonde, of unknown origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Plants) any fern of the genus Osmunda, such as the royal fern, having large spreading fronds: family Osmundaceae
[C13: from Old French osmonde, of unknown origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014