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

  • adj. Cylindrical but usually slightly tapering at both ends, circular in cross section, and smooth-surfaced.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a smooth circular cross-section; cylindrical.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Cylindrical and slightly tapering; columnar, as some stems of plants.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Slender and smooth, with a circular transverse section; cylindrical or slightly tapering. See cut under petiole.

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

  • adj. especially of plant parts; cylindrical and tapering


From Latin teres, teret-, rounded; see terə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin teres ("rounded (cylindrical)"). (Wiktionary)



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  • Terete also means rounded, smooth and round (Oxford English Dictionary).

    August 13, 2011