[ kar-uhng-kuh l, kuh-ruhng- ]
/ ˈkær ʌŋ kəl, kəˈrʌŋ- /


Botany. a protuberance at or surrounding the hilum of a seed.
Zoology. a fleshy excrescence, as on the head of a bird; a fowl's comb.
Anatomy. a small, fleshy growth.

Origin of caruncle

1605–15; earlier caruncula < Latin: small piece of flesh, diminutive of carō (genitive carnis) flesh; for suffix, see carbuncle

Related forms

ca·run·cu·lar [kuh-ruhng-kyuh-ler] /kəˈrʌŋ kyə lər/, ca·run·cu·lous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for caruncle

British Dictionary definitions for caruncle


/ (ˈkærəŋkəl, kəˈrʌŋ-) /


a fleshy outgrowth on the heads of certain birds, such as a cock's comb
an outgrowth near the hilum on the seeds of some plants
any small fleshy mass in or on the body, either natural or abnormal

Derived Forms

caruncular (kəˈrʌŋkjʊlə) or carunculous, adjectivecarunculate (kəˈrʌŋkjʊlɪt, -ˌleɪt) or carunculated, adjective

Word Origin for caruncle

C17: from obsolete French caruncule, from Latin caruncula a small piece of flesh, from carō flesh
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

Medicine definitions for caruncle


[ kə-rŭngkəl, kărŭng′- ]


A fleshy, naked outgrowth.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.