Definition of polypody in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpäləˌpōdē/ /ˈpɑləˌpoʊdi/


  • A widely distributed fern which has stout scaly creeping rhizomes and remains green during the winter, growing on trees, walls, and stones, especially in limestone areas.

    Genus Polypodium, family Polypodiaceae: several species, in particular the common polypody (P. vulgare)

    ‘Others are maidenhair spleenwort, two kinds of polypody, and walking fern.’
    • ‘Among the ferns are California polypody, maidenhair fern, and golden-back fern.’
    • ‘Aquarius Research Natural Area is particularly rich in ferns, including Western polypody, spreading woodfern, oak fern, male fern, bracken fern, and sword fern.’
    • ‘Others are ferns: golden polypody, long strap fern, and shoestring fern lodge themselves in the remnant bases of the old palm leaves.’
    • ‘There is also Onoclaea sensibilis, the sensitive fern, and our native common polypody, Polypodium vulgare.’


Late Middle English via Latin from Greek polupodion, denoting a kind of fern, from polu- ‘many’ + pous, pod- ‘foot’.