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sepal

[see-puh l]
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noun Botany.
  1. one of the individual leaves or parts of the calyx of a flower.

Origin of sepal

< New Latin sepalum (1790), irregular coinage based on Greek sképē covering and Latin petalum petal
Related formsse·paled, se·palled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sepal

Historical Examples

  • In one flower of the last-named species the perianth consisted of one sepal only, and one lip-like petal placed opposite to it.

    Vegetable Teratology</p>

    Maxwell T. Masters

  • Petal and sepal are ‘stone-colour,’ warmed, one cannot say even tinged, with crimson.

    The Woodlands Orchids

    Frederick Boyle

  • White of sepal and petal, with the vast magenta-crimson lip of Hardyana.

    The Woodlands Orchids

    Frederick Boyle

  • White or palest rose of sepal and petal, the latter marked with purplish lines at the base.

    The Woodlands Orchids

    Frederick Boyle

  • The colour of sepal and petal pink, the throat yellow, the spreading disc magenta-crimson.

    The Woodlands Orchids

    Frederick Boyle


British Dictionary definitions for sepal

sepal

noun
  1. any of the separate parts of the calyx of a flower
Derived Formssepalled or sepalous (ˈsɛpələs), adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin sepalum: sep-, from Greek skepē a covering + -alum, from New Latin petalum petal
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 sepal

n.

"leaf of the calyx," 1821, from French sépal, from Modern Latin sepalum (H.J. de Necker, 1790), coined from Latin separatus "separate, distinct" (see separate (v.)) + petalum "petal" (see petal).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sepal in Science

sepal

[sēpəl]
  1. One of the usually separate, green parts that surround and protect the flower bud and extend from the base of a flower after it has opened. Sepals tend to occur in the same number as the petals and to be centered over the petal divisions. In some species sepals are colored like petals, and they can even be indistinguishable from petals, as in the lilies (in what are called tepals). In some groups, such as the poppies, the sepals fall off after the flower bud opens. See more at flower.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.