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[rey-seem, ruh-]
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noun Botany.
  1. a simple indeterminate inflorescence in which the flowers are borne on short pedicels lying along a common axis, as in the lily of the valley.
  2. a compound inflorescence in which the short pedicels with single flowers of the simple raceme are replaced by racemes.

Origin of raceme

First recorded in 1775–85, raceme is from the Latin word racēmus cluster of grapes, bunch of berries
Related formsra·cemed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for raceme

Historical Examples

  • This form of inflorescence is known technically as a “raceme.”

    Elements of Structural and Systematic Botany

    Douglas Houghton Campbell

  • Spike, an inflorescence like a raceme, only the flowers are sessile, 74.

  • Now this plant produces several flowers on a raceme and many racemes during a season.

  • The leaves of this plant are linear and channelled, and the drooping flowers form a raceme of from six to twelve blooms.

  • In this specimen a raceme of small flowers was included within the enlarged pericarp of a species of Anchusa.

    Vegetable Teratology</p>

    Maxwell T. Masters

British Dictionary definitions for raceme


  1. an inflorescence in which the flowers are borne along the main stem, with the oldest flowers at the base. It can be simple, as in the foxglove, or compoundSee panicle

Word Origin

C18: from Latin racēmus bunch of grapes
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

Word Origin and History for raceme


type of flower cluster, 1785, from Latin racemus "a cluster of grapes" (see raisin). Related: Racemic; racemism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

raceme in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. An optically inactive chemical compound.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

raceme in Science


  1. An indeterminate inflorescence in which each flower grows on its own stalk from a common stem. The lily of the valley and snapdragon have racemes. See illustration at inflorescence.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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