Definitions

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

  • n. One of the structural units of a pistil, representing a modified, ovule-bearing leaf.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of the individual female reproductive organs in a flower. A carpel is composed of an ovary, a style, and a stigma, although some flowers have carpels without a distinct style. In origin, carpels are leaves (megasporophylls) that have evolved to enclose the ovules. The term pistil is sometimes used to refer to a single carpel or to several carpels fused together.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A simple pistil or single-celled ovary or seed vessel, or one of the parts of a compound pistil, ovary, or seed vessel. See Illust of carpaphore.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In botany, a simple pistil, or one of the several members composing a compound pistil or fruit.

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

  • n. a simple pistil or one element of a compound pistil

Etymologies

New Latin carpellum, from Greek karpos, fruit; see kerp- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • From Amer. Heritage: One of the individual female reproductive organs in a flower. A carpel is composed of an ovary, a style, and a stigma, although some flowers have carpels without a distinct style.

    August 2, 2007