Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The outer, protective, nonvascular layer of the skin of vertebrates, covering the dermis.
  • noun An integument or outer layer of various invertebrates.
  • noun The outermost layer of cells covering the leaves and young parts of a plant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In anatomy, the cuticle or scarfskin; the non-vascular outer layer of the skin.
  • noun In zoology, broadly, some or any outermost integument or tegumentary covering or envelop of the body, or some part of the body: a term nearly synonymous with exoskeleton.
  • noun In embryology, the outermost blastodermic membrane; the ectoderm or epiblast, which will in due course become an epidermis proper.
  • noun In conchology, specifically, the rind or peel covering the shell of a mollusk; the external animal integument of the shell, as distinguished from the shell-substance proper: commonly found as a tough, fibrous, or stringy dark-colored bark, which readily peels off in shreds.
  • noun In botany, the outer layer or layers of cells covering the surfaces of plants.
  • noun Also epiderm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Anat.) The outer, nonsensitive layer of the skin; cuticle; scarfskin. See dermis.
  • noun (Bot.) The outermost layer of the cells, which covers both surfaces of leaves, and also the surface of stems, when they are first formed. As stems grow old this layer is lost, and never replaced.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The outer, protective layer of the skin of vertebrates, covering the dermis
  • noun The similar outer layer of cells in invertebrates and plants

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

  • noun the outer layer of the skin covering the exterior body surface of vertebrates

Etymologies

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

[Late Latin, from Greek : epi-, epi- + derma, skin; see der- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin epidermis, from Ancient Greek ἐπιδερμίς (epidermis) (ἐπί, on top of) + dermis (< δέρμα(derma), skin)

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