Meaning of LICHEN in English

I. ˈlīkə̇n sometimes chiefly Brit ˈlichə̇n noun

( -s )

Etymology: Latin, from Greek leichēn, lichēn, probably from leichein to lick — more at lick

1. : any of numerous complex thallophytic plants that constitute the group Lichenes, that are made up of an alga and a fungus growing in symbiotic association on various solid surfaces (as rocks or the bark of trees), that consist of a branching thallus which is not differentiated into stem and leaves but which may be crustose, fruticose, or foliaceous and which contains algal gonidia embedded in a meshwork of fungal hyphae, and that include organisms important in the weathering and breakdown of rocks and some that are sources of foods or dyes — see ascolichenes , basidiolichenes ; iceland moss , reindeer moss ; archil , litmus

2. : any of several skin diseases characterized by the eruption of flat papules ; especially : lichen planus

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: to cover over with or as if with lichens

they lay till all their bones were … lichened into color with the crags — Alfred Tennyson

look down upon the lichened walls of this lovely building — R.M.Lockley

lichened history, an immeasurably vast continuity — R.L.Mittenbuhler

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.