genus of araceous climbing shrubs native to tropical America, 1837, from the Modern Latin genus name (Schott, 1830), from Greek philodendron, neuter of philodendros "loving trees," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + dendron "tree" (from PIE *der-drew-, from root *deru- "to be firm, solid, steadfast," also forming words for "wood, tree"). The plant so called because it clings to trees.
1881 in biology, "the single or sole type of a species in its genus, a genus in its family, etc.;" 1882 in printers' arts, "a print from a picture painted on a metal plate" (only one proof can be made, as the picture is transferred to the paper); 1893 as a brand name of typesetting machine; see mono- + type. Related: Monotypic (1878 in the biological sense)