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[pap-uh s] /ˈpæp əs/
noun, plural pappi
[pap-ahy] /ˈpæp aɪ/ (Show IPA).
a downy, bristly, or other tuftlike appendage of the achene of certain plants, as the dandelion and the thistle.
Origin of pappus
1695-1705; < New Latin < Greek páppos down, literally, grandfather (taken as greybeard, white hairs, down) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pappi
Historical Examples
  • Happily the pappi soon appeared; a fine-looking man with a beard and a kindly face.

    Through Finland in Carts Ethel Brilliana Alec-Tweedie
British Dictionary definitions for pappi


noun (pl) pappi (ˈpæpaɪ)
a ring of fine feathery hairs surrounding the fruit in composite plants, such as the thistle; aids dispersal of the fruits by the wind
Derived Forms
pappose, pappous, adjective
Word Origin
C18: via New Latin, from Greek pappos grandfather, old man, old man's beard, hence: pappus, down
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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pappi in Science
Plural pappi (pāp'ī)
A structure made of scales, bristles, or featherlike hairs that is attached to the seeds (called cypselae) of plants of the composite family and that aids in dispersal by the wind. The downy part of a dandelion or thistle seed is a pappus. The pappus is derived from a modified calyx.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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