1836, from French gymnosperme and Modern Latin gymnospermae (plural, 17c.), literally "naked seed" (i.e., not enclosed in an ovary), from gymno- "naked" + sperma "seed" (see sprout (v.)). Related: Gymnospermous.
before vowels gymn-, word-forming element meaning "naked, stripped, bare," from Greek gymnos "naked, unclad; bare, mere," from a metathesis of PIE *nogw-mo-, suffixed form of *nogw- "naked" (see naked).
Old English -sprutan (in asprutan "to sprout"), from Proto-Germanic *sprut- (source also of Old Saxon sprutan, Old Frisian spruta, Middle Dutch spruten, Old High German spriozan, German sprießen "to sprout"), from PIE *spreud-, extended form of root *sper- "to strew" (perhaps also the source of Old English spreawlian "to sprawl," sprædan "to spread," spreot "pole;" Armenian sprem "scatter;" Old Lithuanian sprainas "staring, opening wide one's eyes;" Lettish spriežu "I span, I measure"). Related: Sprouted; sprouting.
"plant with seeds contained in a protective vessel" (as distinguished from a gymnosperm, in which the seeds are naked), 1852, from Modern Latin Angiospermae, coined 1690 by German botanist Paul Hermann (1646-1695), from Greek angeion "vessel" (see angio-) + spermos, adjective from sperma "seed" (see sperm). So called because the seeds in this class of plants are enclosed. Related: Angiospermous.
<a href="https://www.etymonline.com/word/gymnosperm">Etymology of gymnosperm by etymonline</a>
Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of gymnosperm. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/gymnosperm