from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A small gemma or similar structure, especially a reproductive structure in some sponges that remains dormant through the winter and later develops into a new individual.
- n. A hypothetical particle of heredity postulated to be the mediating factor in the production of new cells in the theory of pangenesis.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small gemma or bud of dormant embryonic cells produced by some freshwater sponges
- n. A hypothetical particle once thought to be the basis of heredity
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A little leaf bud, as the plumule between the cotyledons.
- n. One of the buds of mosses.
- n. One of the reproductive spores of algæ.
- n. An ovule.
- n. A bud produced in generation by gemmation.
- n. One of the imaginary granules or atoms which, according to Darwin's hypothesis of pangenesis, are continually being thrown off from every cell or unit, and circulate freely throughout the system, and when supplied with proper nutriment multiply by self-division and ultimately develop into cells like those from which they were derived. They are supposed to be transmitted from the parent to the offspring, but are often transmitted in a dormant state during many generations and are then developed. See Pangenesis.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In botany: A small bud or gemma.
- n. The plumule.
- n. An ovule.
- n. In zoology, a little bud; a small gemma.
- n. In biology, one of the hypothetical living units conceived by Darwin as the bearers of the hereditary attributes of animals and plants.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the physically discrete element that Darwin proposed as responsible for heredity
French, from Latin gemmula, diminutive of gemma, bud; see gembh- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)