Lichen meaning

lī'kən
The definition of a lichen is a plant found on rocks or trees made of both a specific fungus and a specific algae that help one another.

An example of a lichen is the colored patch growing on a tree branch.

noun
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A composite organism made up of a fungus, usually an ascomycete, that grows symbiotically with an alga or a cyanobacterium and characteristically forms a crustlike or branching growth on rocks or tree trunks.
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Any of various skin diseases characterized by patchy eruptions of small, firm papules.
noun
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To cover with lichens.
verb
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Any of various small plants composed of a particular fungus and a particular alga (or blue-green alga) growing in an intimate symbiotic association and forming a dual plant, commonly adhering in colored patches or spongelike branches to rock, wood, soil, etc.
noun
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Any of various skin diseases characterized by patchy eruptions of small, firm papules.
noun
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Any of various skin diseases characterized by papules and enlarged skin markings.
noun
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A composite organism made up of a fungus, usually an ascomycete, that grows symbiotically with an alga or a cyanobacterium and characteristically forms a crustlike or branching growth on rocks or tree trunks.
noun
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The mutualistic symbiotic association of a fungus with an alga or a cyanobacterium, or both. The fungal component of a lichen absorbs water and nutrients from the surroundings and provides a suitable environment for the alga or cyanobacterium. These live protected among the dense fungal hyphae and produce carbohydrates for the fungus by photosynthesis. Owing to this partnership, lichens can thrive in harsh environments such as mountaintops and polar regions. The more familiar lichens grow slowly as crusty patches, but lichens are found in a variety of forms, such as the tall, plantlike reindeer moss. The association between the different organisms in a lichen is so close that lichens are routinely referred to as a single organism, and scientists classify lichens using the name of the fungal component.
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Any of many symbiotic organisms, being associations of fungi and algae; often found as white or yellow patches on old walls, etc.
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To cover with lichens.
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Origin of lichen

  • Latin līchēn a kind of plant from Greek leikhēn from leikhein to lick leigh- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition