Definition for MOSS

MOSS, n. [Sax. meοs; G. moos; D. mos; Sw. mossa; W. mwswg, from mws, that shoots up, and of a strong scent; L. muscus; Gr. μοσχος. The two latter signify moss and musk, both from shooting out; hence, It. musco, muschio; Sp. musco; Port. musgo; Fr. mousse. The Greek word signifies also a young animal, and a shoot or twig. From the French mousse, comes mousseline, muslin, from its softness or resemblance to moss. Lunier says it is from Mossoul, a city of Mesopotamia.]

  1. The mosses are one of the families or classes into which all vegetables are divided by Linnæus 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. Milne. The mosses, musci, form a natural order of small plants with leafy stems and narrow simple leaves. Their flower are generally monecian or diecian, and their seeds are contained in a capsule covered with a calyptra or hood. Ed. Encyc. The term moss is also applied to many other small plants particularly lichens, species of which are called tree-moss, rock-moss, coral-moss, &c. The fir-moss and club-moss, are of the genus Lycopodium.
  2. [Sw. måse.] A bog; a place where peat is found.

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