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Definition of fern:

  1. An order of cryptogamous plants, the Filices, which have their fructification on the back of the fronds or leaves. They are usually found in humid soil, sometimes grow epiphytically on trees, and in tropical climates often attain a gigantic size.
  2. Ancient; old. [ Obs.] Pilgrimages to . . . ferne halwes. [ saints].
  3. Long ago.

Synonyms:

lacy plant, brake, maidenhair, polypody, pteridophyte, bracken.

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