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

  • n. Botany A minute opening in the ovule of a seed plant through which the pollen tube usually enters.
  • n. Zoology A pore in the membrane covering the ovum of some animals through which a spermatozoon can enter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In seed-bearing plants, a small opening in the integuments of the ovule through which sperm are able to access the ovum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An opening in the membranes surrounding the ovum, by which nutrition is assisted and the entrance of the spermatozoa permitted.
  • n. An opening in the outer coat of a seed, through which the fecundating pollen enters the ovule.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In botany, the orifice or canal in the coats of the ovule leading to the apex of the nucleus, through which the pollen-tube penetrates.
  • n. In zoology: The scar or hilum of an ovum at the point of its attachment to the ovary
  • n. Any opening in the coverings of an ovum through which spermatozoa may gain access to the interior, or a cluster of minute pores on the surface of an egg through which fertilization is effected. On the eggs of lepidopterous insects these pores often form a rosette at one end.
  • n. In zoology: In certain sporozoans, a minute opening in the oöcyst through which the microgamete enters to fertilize the macrogamete.

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

  • n. minute opening in the wall of an ovule through which the pollen tube enters


micro- + Greek pulē, gate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French, from Ancient Greek μικρός (mikros, "small") + πύλη (pulē, "gate") (Wiktionary)



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