Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Biology A fleshy naked outgrowth, such as a fowl's wattles.
  • n. Botany An outgrowth or appendage at or near the hilum of certain seeds, as of the castor-oil plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small, fleshy excrescence that is a normal part of an animal's anatomy
  • n. A similar excrescence near the hilum of some seeds

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small fleshy prominence or excrescence; especially the small, reddish body, the caruncula lacrymalis, in the inner angle of the eye.
  • n. An excrescence or appendage surrounding or near the hilum of a seed.
  • n. A naked, flesh appendage, on the head of a bird, as the wattles of a turkey, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small fleshy excrescence, either natural or morbid. Specifically
  • n. In ornithology, a fleshy excrescence on the head of a bird, as the comb or one of the wattles of a hen.
  • n. In botany, a protuberance surrounding the hilum of a seed. Strictly, it is an outgrowth of the micropyle, or external orifice of the ovule.
  • n. In entomology, a naked, more or less rounded, fleshy elevation of the surface, especially on the body of a caterpillar or other insect-larva.
  • n. A small horny protuberance, at the tip of a young bird's beak, which serves to break the egg-shell at the time of hatching: same as egg-tooth.
  • n. A peculiar leaf-like sense-organ found on the dorsal side of the segments at the anterior end of certain polychætous annelids, especially those belonging to the family Amphinomidæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an outgrowth on a plant or animal such as a fowl's wattle or a protuberance near the hilum of certain seeds

Etymologies

Obsolete French caruncule, from Latin caruncula, diminutive of carō, flesh; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin caruncula ("wart"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If you're wondering, the part of gallinaceous anatomy that Danilo is mimicking is called a caruncle, or cockscomb.

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  • However, his collections from Altai and Yili in Xinjiang Province possess the so-called "caruncle" only in some fruits from the same plant.

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  • Chinese herbaria do not exhibit the key anatomical character described by Janischevsky (1924), i.e., that the fruit base becomes elongated and forms a "caruncle".

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  • Based on my observation, 90% of ATV riders are caruncle-brained, porcine oafs.

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  • Mozambique cocks, the comb, caruncle, and epidermis being black.

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  • French nurses treat cracked nipples by applying a hollow section of the fresh root over the sore caruncle; and a decoction of the root made by boiling from two to four drachms in a pint of water, is given for bleedings from the lungs or bladder.

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

  • [In Latin, _carunculæ myrtiformes_, which means in English myrtleberry-shaped caruncles; caruncle is a small fleshy elevation; derived from _caro_, which in Latin means flesh.]

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  • The position of the sockets of the eyes if horizontal in the white race and inclines obliquely upwards in Mongols; in the latter case the lacrimal caruncle is generally not free, but is covered by a fold that inclines downward in a curve (the Mongolian fold).

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • The seeds cannot be carried so well unless this ridge, _caruncle_, be present.

    Seed Dispersal

  • -- Seed of bloodroot with caruncle or crest, which serves as a handle for ants to hold on to.

    Seed Dispersal

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Comments

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  • Blecch. But I love protuberance! I've even added it to my favorites. :-)

    November 22, 2007

  • Caruncle has many meanings, nearly all of them as ugly as the word itself. Even protuberance is rather distasteful-sounding.

    From Word.A.Day: "From Latin caruncula (small piece of flesh), diminutive of caro (flesh). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sker- (to cut) that is also the source of skirt, curt, screw, shard, shears, carnage, carnivorous, carnation, sharp, and scrape."

    It just gets worser and worser... :)

    November 22, 2007

  • Skipvia, Google thinks you want information on cystic mesothelioma and other cancerous horrors. Can't a guy just post about a protuberance?

    November 22, 2007

  • See snood.

    November 22, 2007