Definition of fiddlehead in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfidlhed/


1 (also fiddlehead fern) North American The young, curled, edible frond of certain ferns.
Example sentences
  • For some Lake Superior Ojibwe tribal members, this season means the preparation of meals using wild greens such as bagwaji zhigaagawinzhig (wild onion), waabigoniin, and waagaag (fiddlehead fern).
  • These are fiddleheads, the young shoots of the ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, and the cinnamon fern, Osmunda cinnamonum.
  • Christmas fern and soft shield fern (P. setiferum) remain green; the fiddleheads of many ferns emerge early from the winter ground.
2A scroll-like carving at a ship’s bow.
Example sentences
  • The head of the ship usually was finished off as a scrollhead or a fiddlehead.
  • A gilt fiddlehead did you say--eh?


Late 18th century: from the resemblance to the head of a violin.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fid·dle·head

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