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

  • n. One of a bundle of needlelike crystals of calcium oxalate occurring in many plant cells.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A crystal of calcium oxalate, shaped like a needle, which forms as a metabolic byproduct in some plant cells.


French, sing. of raphides, from New Latin, from Greek rhaphides, pl. of rhaphis, needle, from rhaptein, to sew.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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  • A needle-shaped crystal of calcium carbonate or more commonly calcium oxalate found within idioblasts of plant cells. Generally raphides occur in bundles. A.k.a. raphis.

    September 27, 2009