Definitions

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

  • noun A grain or seed, as of a cereal grass, enclosed in a husk.
  • noun The usually edible seed inside the hard covering of a nut or fruit stone.
  • noun The central or most important part; the core.
  • noun A small amount of something, especially when potentially developing into something else.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To harden or ripen into kernels, as the seeds of plants.
  • To crenelate.
  • noun A battlement.
  • noun An enlarged lymphatic gland.
  • noun In metallurgy, a nucleus of a double sulphid of copper and iron obtained in roasting cupriferous iron pyrites. The kernels are separated by hand from the lumps of pyrites and are melted for copper.
  • noun The edible substance contained in the shell of a nut or the stone of a fruit.
  • noun Technically, in botany: In phanerogams, strictly, the whole body of a seed within the coats, namely, the embryo, and, when present, the albumen.
  • noun In pyrenomycetous fungi, in old usage, all of the soft parts of the pyrenocarp or perithecium within the firm outer wall. In both these senses a synonym of nucleus.
  • noun A gramineous seed with its husk or integument; a grain or corn: as, a kernel of wheat, oats, or maize: formerly applied also to the seed of the apple and other pulpy fruits.
  • noun The bundle of fat on the fore shoulder; any swelling or knob of flesh.
  • noun Figuratively — The central part of anything; a mass around which other matter is concreted; a nucleus in general.
  • noun The important part of anything, as a matter in discussion; the main or essential point, as opposed to matters of less import; the core; the gist: as, to come to the kernel of the question.

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

  • intransitive verb To harden or ripen into kernels; to produce kernels.
  • noun The essential part of a seed; all that is within the seed walls; the edible substance contained in the shell of a nut; hence, anything included in a shell, husk, or integument. See Illust. of endocarp.
  • noun A single seed or grain.
  • noun A small mass around which other matter is concreted; a nucleus; a concretion or hard lump in the flesh.
  • noun The central, substantial or essential part of anything; the gist; the core.

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

  • noun The core, center, or essence of an object or system.
  • noun The central (usually edible) part of a nut, especially once the hard shell has been removed.
  • noun A single seed or grain, especially of corn or wheat.
  • noun US The stone of certain fruits, such as peaches or plums.
  • noun computing The central part of many computer operating systems which manages the system's resources and the communication between hardware and software components.
  • noun mathematics, algebra Those elements, in the domain of a function, which the function maps to zero.
  • noun mathematics The set of members of a fuzzy set that are fully included (i.e., whose grade of membership is 1).

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

  • noun the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
  • noun a single whole grain of a cereal
  • noun the inner and usually edible part of a seed or grain or nut or fruit stone

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English cyrnel; see gr̥ə-no- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English cyrnel, diminutive of corn ("seed"), related to Old Norse kjarni ("kernel")

Examples

  • By default the kernel logger dumped all 16 MB of output into c: \kernel. etl.

    MSDN Blogs

  • By default the kernel logger dumped all 16 MB of output into c: \kernel. etl.

    MSDN Blogs

  • By default the kernel logger dumped all 16 MB of output into c: \kernel. etl.

    MSDN Blogs

  • By default the kernel logger dumped all 16 MB of output into c: \kernel. etl.

    MSDN Blogs

  • By default the kernel logger dumped all 16 MB of output into c: \kernel. etl.

    MSDN Blogs

  • It is, I suppose, the only nut in the world of which one throws away the kernel and eats the shell; but the kernel is as hard as marble, while the shell is fibrous, and tastes like stale ginger-bread.

    A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

  • For the last four years, the pony-tailed Jonathan Corbet, kernel developer and editor, has presented what he calls the kernel report at Australia's national Linux conference.

    iTWire - Latest Headlines

  • The whole kernel is immersed in digestive enzymes and your body pulls out what it can use, Dr. Sheth said.

    Science Question from a Toddler: Why is poop brown? Boing Boing

  • This uses a modified Darwin kernel to bootstrap a regular, unaltered Mac OSX Leopard retail disk.

    p2pnet World Headlines – May 27, 2009

  • The entire kernel is used in whole-grain products, making them a better source of fiber and other nutrients.

    Quick Study: Whole-grain foods may help lower blood pressure

Comments

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  • sometimes kernel as in corn, other times kernel as in Linux.

    December 10, 2006

  • See hogshead.

    December 14, 2007