American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


MOSS, noun [Latin muscus.] The mosses are one of the seven families or classes into which all vegetables are divided by Linne in the Philosophia Botanica. In Ray's method, the mosses form the third class, and in Tournefort's, they constitute a single genus. In the sexual system, they are the second order of the class cryptogamia, which contains all the plants in which the parts of the flower and fruit are wanting or not conspicuous.

The mosses, musci, form a natural order of small plants, with leafy stems and narrow simple leaves. Their flowers are generally monecian or diecian, and their seeds are contained in a capsule covered with a calyptra or hood.

The term moss is also applied to many other small plants, particularly lichens, species of which are called tree-moss, rock-moss, coral-moss, etc. The fir-moss and club-moss are of the genus Lycopodium.

1. A bog; a place where peat is found.

MOSS, verb transitive To cover with moss by natural growth.

An oak whose boughs were mossed with age.

MOSS'-CLAD, adjective Clad or covered with moss