"a plant producing cones, a plant of the order Coniferae" (which includes pine, fir, and cypress trees), 1847, from Latin conifer "cone-bearing, bearing conical fruit," from conus "cone" (see cone) + ferre "to bear, carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry").
word-forming element making adjectives from nouns, meaning "having, full of, having to do with, doing, inclined to," from Old French -ous, -eux, from Latin -osus (compare -ose (1)). In chemistry, "having a lower valence than forms expressed in -ic."
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Definitions of coniferous from WordNet
of or relating to or part of trees or shrubs bearing cones and evergreen leaves;