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[jem-uh] /ˈdʒɛm ə/
noun, plural gemmae
[jem-ee] /ˈdʒɛm i/ (Show IPA)
a bud.
Botany. a cell or cluster of cells, or a leaflike or budlike body, that separates from the parent plant to form a new organism, as in mosses and liverworts.
Origin of gemma
1760-70; < Latin: bud, gem Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gemma
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • gemma stared, but made no attempt to answer, and Maria looked confused.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • gemma had been asked to come too on this occasion, but she had excused herself.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • gemma lay in wait for the old woman and stopped her as she came from the kitchen.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • gemma smiled her rare slow smile as she put it in her purse.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • But gemma knew nothing of them, and she would have cared nothing if she had known.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
British Dictionary definitions for gemma


noun (pl) -mae (-miː)
a small asexual reproductive structure in liverworts, mosses, etc, that becomes detached from the parent and develops into a new individual
(zoology) another name for gemmule (sense 1)
Derived Forms
gemmaceous (dʒɛˈmeɪʃəs) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Latin: bud, gem
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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gemma in Science
Plural gemmae (jěm'ē')
A budlike mass of undifferentiated tissue which serves as a means of vegetative reproduction among mosses and liverworts. The gemmae, often formed in structures called gemma cups, are usually dispersed from the parent plant by the splashing of raindrops, after which they develop into new individuals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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