[ kahr-puh l ]
/ ˈkɑr pəl /

noun Botany.

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

Origin of carpel

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

Related forms

car·pel·lar·y [kahr-puh-ler-ee] /ˈkɑr pəˌlɛr i/, adjectivein·ter·car·pel·lar·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carpel

British Dictionary definitions for carpel


/ (ˈkɑːpəl) /


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

Derived Forms

carpellary, adjectivecarpellate (ˈkɑːpɪˌleɪt), adjective

Word Origin for carpel

C19: from New Latin carpellum, from Greek karpos fruit
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

Science definitions for carpel


[ kärpəl ]

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.