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[thee-kuh] /ˈθi kə/
noun, plural thecae
[thee-see] /ˈθi si/ (Show IPA)
a case or receptacle.
Botany, Mycology.
  1. a sac, cell, or capsule.
  2. a sporangium.
Anatomy, Zoology. a case or sheath enclosing an organ, structure, etc., as the horny covering of an insect pupa or the loose membrane covering the spinal cord.
Origin of theca
1655-65; < Latin thēca, from Greek thḗkē “case, cover,” akin to tithénai “to place, put”
Related forms
thecal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for theca


noun (pl) -cae (-siː)
(botany) an enclosing organ, cell, or spore case, esp the capsule of a moss
(zoology) a hard outer covering, such as the cup-shaped container of a coral polyp
Derived Forms
thecal, thecate, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin thēca, from Greek thēkē case; related to Greek tithenai to place
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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theca in Medicine

theca the·ca (thē'kə)
n. pl. the·cae (-sē', -kē')
A case, covering, or sheath, such as the outer covering of the cocoon of certain insects.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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theca in Science
Plural thecae (thē'sē', -kē')
A case, covering, or sheath, such as the pollen sac of an anther, the spore case of a moss, or the outer covering of the pupa of certain insects.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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