pte·rid·o·phyte (tə-rĭdə-fīt′, tĕrĭ-dō-)
Any of numerous vascular plants that reproduce by means of spores rather than seeds, including the ferns and related plants such as horsetails, and sometimes the club mosses.
[From New Latin Pteridophyta, former division name : Greek pteris, pterid-, fern; see PTERIDOLOGY + Greek phuton, plant; see -PHYTE.]
pte·rid′o·phytic (tə-rĭd′ə-fĭtĭk, tĕr′ĭ-dō-), pter′i·dophy·tous (tĕr′ĭ-dŏfĭ-təs) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.