[ kahr-puhl ]

  1. a simple pistil, or a single member of a compound pistil.

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Origin of carpel

1810–20; <New Latin carpellum, equivalent to Greek karp(ós) fruit + Latin -ellum diminutive suffix

Other words from carpel

  • car·pel·lar·y [kahr-puh-ler-ee], /ˈkɑr pəˌlɛr i/, adjective
  • in·ter·car·pel·lar·y, adjective

Words Nearby carpel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use carpel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for carpel


/ (ˈkɑːpəl) /

  1. the female reproductive organ of flowering plants, consisting of an ovary, style (sometimes absent), and stigma. The carpels are separate or fused to form a single pistil

Origin of carpel

C19: from New Latin carpellum, from Greek karpos fruit

Derived forms of carpel

  • carpellary, adjective
  • carpellate (ˈkɑːpɪˌleɪt), adjective

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

Scientific definitions for carpel


[ kärpəl ]

  1. One of the individual female reproductive organs in a flower. A carpel is composed of an ovary, a style, and a stigma, although some flowers have carpels without a distinct style. In origin, carpels are leaves (megasporophylls) that have evolved to enclose the ovules. The term pistil is sometimes used to refer to a single carpel or to several carpels fused together. See more at flower.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.