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

  • n. Botany A minute structure in seed plants, containing the embryo sac and surrounded by the nucellus, that develops into a seed after fertilization.
  • n. Zoology A small or immature ovum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The structure in a plant that develops into a seed after fertilization; the megasporangium of a seed plant with its enclosing integuments.
  • n. An immature ovum in mammals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The rudiment of a seed. It grows from a placenta, and consists of a soft nucleus within two delicate coatings. The attached base of the ovule is the hilum, the coatings are united with the nucleus at the chalaza, and their minute orifice is the foramen.
  • n. An ovum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A. little egg: specifically, in anat., physiol., and zoology, an ovulum or ovum, especially a small one, as that of a mammal, or one not yet matured and discharged from the ovary: specifically applied by Haeckel to the ovum or fertilizable but unfertilized egg-cell of the female, conformable with the use of spermule for the male sperm-cell. Its protoplasm is termed by him ovoplasm, and its nucleus ovococcus.
  • n. In botany, a young or rudimentary seed; a peculiar outgrowth or production of the carpel which, upon fertilization and the formation of an embryo within, becomes the seed.
  • n. Some small body like or likened to an ovule: as, an ovule of Naboth. See ovulum.

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

  • n. a small or immature ovum
  • n. a small body that contains the female germ cell of a plant; develops into a seed after fertilization


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

New Latin ōvulum, diminutive of Latin ōvum, egg; see awi- in Indo-European roots.



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