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[stoh-muh-tuh, stom-uh-, stoh-mah-tuh] /ˈstoʊ mə tə, ˈstɒm ə-, stoʊˈmɑ tə/
a plural of stoma.


[stoh-muh] /ˈstoʊ mə/
noun, plural stomata
[stoh-muh-tuh, stom-uh-, stoh-mah-tuh] /ˈstoʊ mə tə, ˈstɒm ə-, stoʊˈmɑ tə/ (Show IPA),
Also, stomate. Botany. any of various small apertures, especially one of the minute orifices or slits in the epidermis of leaves, stems, etc., through which gases are exchanged.
Zoology. a mouth or ingestive opening, especially when in the form of a small or simple aperture.
Medicine/Medical. an artificial opening between two hollow organs or between one hollow organ and the outside of the body, constructed to permit the passage of body fluids or waste products.
Origin of stoma
1675-85; < New Latin < Greek stóma mouth
Related forms
stomal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stomata
Historical Examples
  • Why are the stomata, or pores of leaves, generally placed on their under surface?

    The Reason Why Anonymous
  • This difference may be accounted for by the closure of the stomata at night.

  • stomata on flanks of ridges only, and few motor-cells between (Fig. 23).

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • The rate of this current is an index of the degree to which the stomata are open.

    Rustic Sounds Francis Darwin
  • There are other methods of demonstrating the movements of the stomata.

    Rustic Sounds Francis Darwin
  • Small portion of epidermis of the lower face of a White-Lily leaf, with stomata.

  • Nardus has some of the bands devoid of stomata, but abounding in short cells, whereas others (above) have stomata throughout.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • stomata very few, flanking the ridge; motor-cells in the furrows, poorly developed (Fig. 28).

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • They are green and lustrous above and silver white below, the whiteness due to stomata on their undersides.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson
  • All tree leaves have stomata, but all are not arranged in the same way and are not visible alike.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson
British Dictionary definitions for stomata


/ˈstəʊmətə; ˈstɒm-; stəʊˈmɑːtə/
the plural of stoma


noun (pl) stomata (ˈstəʊmətə; ˈstɒm-; stəʊˈmɑːtə)
(botany) an epidermal pore, present in large numbers in plant leaves, that controls the passage of gases into and out of a plant
(zoology, anatomy) a mouth or mouthlike part
(surgery) an artificial opening made in a tubular organ, esp the colon or ileum See colostomy, ileostomy
Word Origin
C17: via New Latin from Greek: mouth
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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Word Origin and History for stomata



"orifice, small opening in an animal body," 1680s, Modern Latin, from Greek stoma (genitive stomatos) "mouth," from PIE root *stom-en-, denoting various body parts and orifices (cf. Avestan staman- "mouth" (of a dog), Hittite shtamar "mouth," Middle Breton staffn "mouth, jawbone," Cornish stefenic "palate"). Surgical sense is attested from 1937.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stomata in Medicine

stoma sto·ma (stō'mə)
n. pl. sto·mas or sto·ma·ta (-mə-tə)

  1. A minute opening or pore, as in the surface of a membrane.

  2. A mouthlike opening, such as the oral cavity of a nematode.

  3. A surgically constructed opening, especially one made in the abdominal wall to permit the passage of waste.

sto'mal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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stomata in Science
Plural stomata (stō'mə-tə)
  1. Botany One of the tiny openings in the epidermis of a plant, through which gases and water vapor pass. Stomata permit the absorption of carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis from the air, as well as the removal of excess oxygen. Stomata occur on all living plant parts that have contact with the air; they are especially abundant on leaves. A single leaf may have many thousands of stomata. Each stoma is generally between 10 to 30 microns in length and is surrounded by a pair of crescent-shaped cells, called guard cells. The guard cells can change shape and close the stoma in order to prevent the loss of water vapor. See Note at transpiration.

  2. Zoology A mouthlike opening, such as the oral cavity of a nematode.

  3. Medicine A temporary or permanent opening in a body surface, especially the abdomen or throat, that is created by a surgical procedure, such as a colostomy or tracheostomy.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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