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[noo-sel-uh s, nyoo-] /nuˈsɛl əs, nyu-/
noun, plural nucelli
[noo-sel-ahy, nyoo-] /nuˈsɛl aɪ, nyu-/ (Show IPA).
the central cellular mass of the body of the ovule, containing the embryo sac.
Origin of nucellus
1880-85; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin nuc- (stem of nux) nut + -ella -elle
Related forms
nucellar, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for nucellus


noun (pl) -li (-laɪ)
the central part of a plant ovule containing the embryo sac
Derived Forms
nucellar, adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from Latin nucella, from nux nut
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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nucellus in Science
Plural nucelli (n-sěl'ī)
The megasporangium of a seed-bearing plant, located in the ovule. In angiosperms, it is the central portion of the ovule in which the embryo sac develops. In some cases of apomixis (production of seeds without fertilization), cells of the nucellus develop into an embryo.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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