• synonyms


[tuh-reet, ter-eet]
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  1. slender and smooth, with a circular transverse section.
  2. cylindrical or slightly tapering.

Origin of terete

1610–20; earlier teret < Latin teret- (stem of teres) smooth and round, akin to terere to rub
Related formssub·te·rete, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for terete

Historical Examples

  • Terete, long and round; same as cylindrical, only it may taper.

    The Elements of Botany

    Asa Gray

  • Cylindraceous, approaching to the Cylindrical form, terete and not tapering.

  • Distinguished from Perichna by the terete plasmodiocarp and by the more spinulose capillitium.

  • Leaves short, filiform, terete, solid—the channel hardly discernible.


    H. Marshall Ward

  • Grain is small, fusiform, terete and enclosed in the nut-like polished and hardened first glume.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

    Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar

British Dictionary definitions for terete


  1. (esp of plant parts) smooth and usually cylindrical and tapering

Word Origin

C17: from Latin teres smooth, from terere to rub
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