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[kam-bee-uh m] /ˈkæm bi əm/
noun, plural cambiums, cambia
[kam-bee-uh] /ˈkæm bi ə/ (Show IPA).
a layer of delicate meristematic tissue between the inner bark or phloem and the wood or xylem, which produces new phloem on the outside and new xylem on the inside in stems, roots, etc., originating all secondary growth in plants and forming the annual rings of wood.
Origin of cambium
1665-75; < Late Latin: an exchange, barter; akin to Latin cambiāre to exchange
Related forms
cambial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for cambial


noun (pl) -biums, -bia (-bɪə)
(botany) a meristem that increases the girth of stems and roots by producing additional xylem and phloem See also cork cambium
Derived Forms
cambial, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin: exchange, from Late Latin cambiāre to exchange, barter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cambial



1670s in botany sense, from Late Latin cambium "exchange," from Latin cambiare "change" (see change (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cambial in Science
Plural cambiums or cambia
A cylindrical layer of tissue in the stems and roots of many seed-bearing plants, consisting of cells that divide rapidly to form new layers of tissue. Cambium is a kind of meristem and is most active in woody plants, where it lies between the bark and wood of the stem. It is usually missing from monocotyledons, such as the grasses. ◇ The vascular cambium forms tissues that carry water and nutrients throughout the plant. On its outer surface, the vascular cambium forms new layers of phloem, and on its inner surface, new layers of xylem. The growth of these new tissues causes the diameter of the stem to increase. ◇ The cork cambium creates cells that eventually become bark on the outside and cells that add to the cortex on the inside. In woody plants, the cork cambium is part of the periderm. See also secondary growth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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cambial in Culture
cambium [(kam-bee-uhm)]

The layer of a tree where growth occurs, just under the bark.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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