Definitions

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

  • n. A case, covering, or sheath, such as the pollen sac of an anther, the spore case of a moss, or the outer covering of the pupa of certain insects.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any external case or sheath.
  • n. The pollen producing organ usually found in pairs and forming an anther.
  • n. The twin layers of cells surrounding the basal lamina of an ovarian follicle
  • n. The membrane complex enveloping the cells of certain plankton including diatoms and dinoflagellates
  • n. The calcareous wall of a corallite, the exoskeleton of a coral polyp

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sheath; a case
  • n.
  • n. The chitinous cup which protects the hydranths of certain hydroids.
  • n. The more or less cuplike calicle of a coral.
  • n. The wall forming a calicle of a coral.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the graptolites, one of the receptacles of the zoöids.
  • n. A case; box; sheath.
  • n. [capitalized] A genus of pteropods, having a sheath-like shell, typical of the family Thecidæ. Sowerby, 1845. Also named Hyolithes (Eichwald, 1840).

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

  • n. outer sheath of the pupa of certain insects
  • n. a case or sheath especially a pollen sac or moss capsule

Etymologies

Latin thēca, case, receptacle, from Greek thēkē; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From New Latin, from Latin theca, from Ancient Greek θήκη (thēkē, "a case, box, receptacle"), from τίθημι (tithēmi, "put, set, place"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Fully formed ovarian follicle: • Outside the theca interna some fibrous tissue becomes condensed to form another covering for the follicle called the theca externa.

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  • Last year we found and bought a second hand relic, some fabric from the blanket which St Therese used set in a silver theca itself set in a monstrance style stand.

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  • Bibliographies of alchemical texts date from an early period, but the two standard lists are J. Ferguson, Biblio - theca Chemica, 2 vols.

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  • Hence therefore may proceed inflammation of quicker or of slower progress, disease of the vertebræ, derangement of structure in the medulla, or in its membranes, thickening or even ulceration of the theca, effusion of fluids, &c.

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  • The result of this would be a thickening of the theca, or membranes, and perhaps an increase in the volume of the medulla itself, which would gradually occasion such a degree of pressure against the sides of the unyielding canal, as must eventually intercept the influence of the brain upon the inferior portion of the medullary column, and upon the parts on which the nerves of this portion are disposed.

    An Essay on the Shaking Palsy

  • But taking all circumstances into due consideration, particularly the very gradual manner in which the disease commences, and proceeds in its attacks; as well as the inability to ascribe its origin to any more obvious cause, we are led to seek for it in some slow morbid change in the structure of the medulla, or its investing membranes, or theca, occasioned by simple inflammation, or rheumatic or scrophulous affection.

    An Essay on the Shaking Palsy

  • Assuming however the state just mentioned as the proximate cause, it may be concluded that this may be the result of injuries of the medulla itself, or of the theca helping to form the canal in which it is inclosed.

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  • But of what nature that morbid change is; and whether originating in the medulla itself, in its membranes, or in the containing theca, is, at present, the subject of doubt and conjecture.

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  • The medulla oblongata not growing so hard as the spinalis, was doubtless owing to its not being confined in an osseous theca, but surrounded with soft parts, which allowed it room to spread.

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  • The various forms therefore may not depend proximately on fructification itself, but on the peculiar growth given to the species, in the same way in fact as we have the numerous modifications of the theca in mosses, etc. and the infinite modifications of the carpels in Phaenogams.

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