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fern +‎ -y


ferny (comparative fernier, superlative ferniest)

  1. Of, or pertaining to ferns. (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought):
  2. Resembling or characteristic of a fern, in appearance, smell, etc.
    • 1942, Emily Carr, The Book of Small, “Time,” [1]
      All kinds of mosses grew by the stream—tufty, flat, ferny, and curly, green, yellow and a whitish kind that was tipped with scarlet sealing wax.
    • 1954, William Golding, Lord of the Flies, London: Faber & Faber, Chapter One,
      Ralph had stopped smiling and was pointing into the lagoon. Something creamy lay among the ferny weeds.
  3. Covered in or filled with ferns; flanked or surrounded by ferns.
    • 1922, Katherine Mansfield, “At the Bay” in The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield, Penguin, 2007,
      And from the bush there came the sound of little streams flowing, quickly, lightly, slipping between the smooth stones, gushing into ferny basins and out again; and there was the splashing of big drops on large leaves []
    • 1928, Virginia Woolf, chapter 1, in Orlando: A Biography[2]:
      He skirted all stables, kennels, breweries, carpenters' shops, washhouses, places where they make tallow candles, kill oxen, forge horse-shoes, stitch jerkins—for the house was a town ringing with men at work at their various crafts—and gained the ferny path leading uphill through the park unseen.
    • 1939, Lucy Maud Montgomery, chapter 1, in Anne of Ingleside[3]:
      We'll walk over the spring fields and through those ferny old woods.