lichen

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English[edit]

Lichen growing on a rock.

Etymology[edit]

From Latin līchēn (ringworm), from Ancient Greek λειχήν (leikhḗn).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

lichen (plural lichens)

  1. Any of many symbiotic organisms, being associations of fungi and algae; often found as white or yellow patches on old walls, etc.
    • 1894Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book, Lukannon
      The Beaches of Lukannon–the winter wheat so tall–
      The dripping, crinkled lichens, and the sea-fog drenching all!
    • 1895H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, ch XI
      It was the same rich green that one sees on forest moss or on the lichen in caves: plants which like these grow in a perpetual twilight.
    • 1915John Muir, Travels in Alaska, ch V
      The nibble marks of the stone adze were still visible, though crusted over with scale lichens in most places.
  2. (figuratively) Something which spreads across something else, causing damage.
    • 1912, Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage, Chapter 15
      Meanwhile, abiding a day of judgment, she fought ceaselessly to deny the bitter drops in her cup, to tear back the slow, the intangibly slow growth of a hot, corrosive lichen eating into her heart.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (something which spreads): cancer

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ lichen” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin lichen, from Ancient Greek λειχήν (leikhḗn).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

lichen m (plural lichens)

  1. lichen

Derived terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

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