or a·kene

[ey-keen, uh-keen]
See more synonyms for achene on

Origin of achene

1835–45; < New Latin achaenium, equivalent to a- a-6 + Greek chain- (stem of chaínein to gape) + Latin -ium -ium
Related formsa·che·ni·al [ey-kee-nee-uh l, uh-kee-] /eɪˈki ni əl, əˈki-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for achene

kernel, stone, achene, caryopsis, utricle

Examples from the Web for achene

Historical Examples of achene

British Dictionary definitions for achene



  1. a dry one-seeded indehiscent fruit with the seed distinct from the fruit wall. It may be smooth, as in the buttercup, or feathery, as in clematis
Derived Formsachenial or akenial, adjective

Word Origin for achene

C19: from New Latin achaenium that which does not yawn or open, from a- 1 + Greek khainein to yawn
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

achene in Science


  1. A small, dry, one-seeded fruit in which the seed sits free inside the hollow fruit, attached only by the stem of the ovule. Achenes are indehiscent (they do not split open when ripe). The fruits of the sunflower and elm are achenes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.