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[kar-ee-op-sis] /ˌkær iˈɒp sɪs/
noun, plural caryopses
[kar-ee-op-seez] /ˌkær iˈɒp siz/ (Show IPA),
[kar-ee-op-si-deez] /ˌkær iˈɒp sɪˌdiz/ (Show IPA).
a small, one-celled, one-seeded, dry indehiscent fruit with the pericarp adherent to the seed coat, the typical fruit of grasses and grains.
Origin of caryopsis
First recorded in 1820-30; cary(o)- + -opsis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for caryopsis
Historical Examples
  • As an illustration of the caryopsis, the grain of Andropogon Sorghum may be studied.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar
  • caryopsis grooved, blunt and more tightly held in the palea.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • caryopsis 7-8 mm., less flattened than in Bromus, with a shallow groove.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • The caryopsis is very narrow, and the rachilla long and feathered with hairs.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • The caryopsis is, however, much more slender than in Agropyrum.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • The caryopsis is shorter and more ovoid than in other Bromes.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • Aira is distinguished by the awn: Agrostis by the very different pale and caryopsis.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • In Lolium and Agropyrum the caryopsis is still more wheat-like and grooved.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • Although typical grasses form a caryopsis as described, exceptions occur.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • Ovary 1-celled, 1-ovuled, forming a seed-like grain (caryopsis) in fruit.

British Dictionary definitions for caryopsis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz), -sides (-sɪˌdiːz)
a dry seedlike fruit having the pericarp fused to the seed coat of the single seed: produced by the grasses
Word Origin
C19: New Latin; see karyo-, -opsis
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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caryopsis in Science
Plural caryopses (kār'ē-ŏp'sēz') or caryopsides (kār'ē-ŏp'sĭ-dēz')
A small, dry, one-seeded fruit of a cereal grass, having the fruit and the seed walls united. Also called grain.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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