- a usually fleshy appendage or covering of certain seeds, as of the bittersweet, Celastrus scandens, or the nutmeg.
Origin of aril
1785–95; < New Latin arillus; Medieval Latin: grape seed, probably erroneously for armillus, with same sense; compare Upper Italian dialect armella, arma kernel, pit of a fruit, Italian animella edible insides of an animal < Latin anima literally, spirit (hence, the insides of a thing), with -illa diminutive suffix; see anima
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for aril
“Mace” is the “aril” or covering of the seed of the same plant.Elements of Structural and Systematic Botany
Douglas Houghton Campbell
The pulp is of the nature of an aril, that is, an additional seed-coat.
The aril is a growth from the extremity of the seed-stalk, or from the placenta when there is no seed-stalk.The Elements of Botany
This aril or husk is the mace of commerce, while the true nutmeg is the center or hard seed (nut).The Nut Culturist
Andrew S. Fuller
By the end of Aril, the several armies seemed to be ready, and the general forward movement on Corinth began.The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Complete
William T. Sherman
- an appendage on certain seeds, such as those of the yew and nutmeg, developed from or near the funicle of the ovule and often brightly coloured and fleshy
C18: from New Latin arillus, from Medieval Latin arilli raisins, pips of grapes
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
Word Origin and History for aril
"accessory covering of seeds," 1794, from Modern Latin arillus, from Medieval Latin arilli, Spanish arillos "dried grapes, raisins."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A fleshy seed cover which arises from the funiculus (the stalk of the ovule). Arils, such the red berry-like arils of the yew, are often brightly colored to attract animals who eat them and disperse the seeds. The spice mace is the aril of the nutmeg seed.
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