Definitions

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

  • n. The scar on a seed, such as a bean, indicating the point of attachment to the funiculus.
  • n. The nucleus of a starch grain.
  • n. The area through which ducts, nerves, or blood vessels enter and leave a gland or organ.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The eye of a bean or other seed; the mark or scar at the point of attachment of an ovule or seed to its base or support.
  • n. The nucleus of a starch grain.
  • n. A depression or fissure through which ducts, nerves, or blood vessels enter and leave a gland or organ. Also called porta.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The eye of a bean or other seed; the mark or scar at the point of attachment of an ovule or seed to its base or support; -- called also hile.
  • n. The part of a gland, or similar organ, where the blood vessels and nerves enter; the hilus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In botany, originally, the eye of a bean; hence, the mark or scar on a seed produced by separation from its placenta.
  • n. In zoology and anatomy, some part or thing like the hilum of a seed, as a scar, pit, recess, or opening for entrance or exit.
  • n.

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

  • n. the scar on certain seeds marking its point of attachment to the funicle
  • n. (anatomy) a depression or fissure where vessels or nerves or ducts enter a bodily organ

Etymologies

Latin hīlum, trifle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin hilum ("a trifle; a spot on a seed"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • The scar on a seed marking the place where it was attached to the seed stalk.

    November 14, 2007