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[zahy-luh m, -lem] /ˈzaɪ ləm, -lɛm/
noun, Botany.
a compound tissue in vascular plants that helps provide support and that conducts water and nutrients upward from the roots, consisting of tracheids, vessels, parenchyma cells, and woody fibers.
Origin of xylem
1870-75; < German, equivalent to Greek xýl(on) wood + -ēma (see phloem) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for xylem


/ˈzaɪləm; -lɛm/
a plant tissue that conducts water and mineral salts from the roots to all other parts, provides mechanical support, and forms the wood of trees and shrubs. It is of two types (protoxylem and metaxylem), both of which are made up mainly of vessels and tracheids See also protoxylem, metaxylem
Word Origin
C19: from Greek xulon wood
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 xylem

"woody tissue in higher plants," 1875, from German Xylem, coined from Greek xylon "wood," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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xylem in Science

A tissue in vascular plants that carries water and dissolved minerals from the roots and provides support for softer tissues. Xylem consists of several different types of cells: fibers for support, parenchyma for storage, and tracheary elements for the transport of water. The tracheary elements are arranged as long tubes through which columns of water are raised. In a tree trunk, the innermost part of the wood is dead but structurally strong xylem, while the outer part consists of living xylem, and beyond it, layers of cambium and phloem. See more at cambium, capillary action. Compare phloem.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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xylem in Culture
xylem [(zeye-luhm)]

The system of vessels that transports water in a plant. (See phloem.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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