Lichen Li"chen (l[imac]"k[e^]n; 277), n. [L., fr. Gr. leichh`n.] 1. (Bot.) One of a class of cellular, flowerless plants, (technically called {Lichenes}), having no distinction of leaf and stem, usually of scaly, expanded, frond-like forms, but sometimes erect or pendulous and variously branched. They derive their nourishment from the air, and generate by means of spores. The species are very widely distributed, and form irregular spots or patches, usually of a greenish or yellowish color, upon rocks, trees, and various bodies, to which they adhere with great tenacity. They are often improperly called {rock moss} or {tree moss}. [1913 Webster]

Note: A favorite modern theory of lichens (called after its inventor the Schwendener hypothesis), is that they are not autonomous plants, but that they consist of ascigerous fungi, parasitic on alg[ae]. Each lichen is composed of white filaments and green, or greenish, rounded cells, and it is argued that the two are of different nature, the one living at the expense of the other. See {Hyph[ae]}, and {Gonidia}. [1913 Webster]

2. (Med.) A name given to several varieties of skin disease, esp. to one characterized by the eruption of small, conical or flat, reddish pimples, which, if unchecked, tend to spread and produce great and even fatal exhaustion. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lichen — [ likɛn ] n. m. • 1363 lichines; mot lat., gr. leikhên, littéralt « qui lèche » 1 ♦ Méd. Vx Dermatose caractérisée par la présence de papules. Mod. Lichen plan : maladie cutanée de cause inconnue, bien individualisée par une éruption disséminée… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • LICHEN — (от греч. leichen лишай), название, унаследованное от Гиппократа и Галена и употреблявшееся в дерматологической литературе 18 и 19 вв. для обозначения самых разнообразных кожных заболеваний, главным же образом в смысле, придаваемом ему Вилланом… …   Большая медицинская энциклопедия

  • Lichen — ist die wissenschaftliche Bezeichnung für die Lebensform Flechte. in der Medizin die Bezeichnung für verschiedene nichtinfektiöse Hauterkrankungen, die in der Regel mit einem kleinpapulösem Exanthem einhergehen Einige Formen sind: Lichen pilaris… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • lichen — LICHÉN, licheni, s.m. 1. (La pl.) Grup de plante inferioare ale caror tal este compus dintr o ciupercă şi o algă aflate în simbioză, care cresc pe scoarţa arborilor bătrâni, pe ziduri, pe stânci, etc.; (şi la sg.) plantă care face parte din acest …   Dicționar Român

  • lichen — c.1600, from L. lichen, from Gk. leichen, originally what eats around itself, probably from leichein to lick (see LICK (Cf. lick)). Originally used of liverwort; the modern sense first recorded 1715. Related: Lichenaceous …   Etymology dictionary

  • Lichen — Lichen, bei Linné Gattungsname für die Flechten, jetzt nur noch in der pharmazeut. Terminologie gebräuchlich (z.B. L. islandĭcus für Isländ. Moos u.a.). – In der Medizin s.v.w. Schwindflechte (Hautkrankheit) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • lichen — The dominant pronunciation of the plant name is liy kǝn (as liken), although lich ǝn is also heard in BrE (though not in AmE) …   Modern English usage

  • lichen — ► NOUN ▪ a simple plant consisting of a fungus living in close association with an alga, typically growing as a crust or covering on rocks, walls, and trees. DERIVATIVES lichened adjective lichenous adjective. ORIGIN Greek leikh n …   English terms dictionary

  • lichen — [lī′kən] n. [L < Gr leichēn, prob. < leichein, to LICK] 1. any of various small plants composed of a particular fungus and a particular alga growing in an intimate symbiotic association and forming a dual plant, commonly adhering in colored …   English World dictionary

  • Lichen — For other uses, see Lichen (disambiguation). Lichenes from Ernst Haeckel s Artforms of Nature, 1904 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”