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See more synonyms for ectoderm on Thesaurus.com
noun Embryology.
  1. the outer germ layer in the embryo of a metazoan.
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Origin of ectoderm

First recorded in 1860–65; ecto- + -derm
Also called ectoblast.
Related formsec·to·der·mal, ec·to·der·mic, adjectiveec·to·der·moi·dal [ek-toh-der-moid-l] /ˌɛk toʊ dərˈmɔɪd l/, adjectivesub·ec·to·der·mal, adjectivesub·ec·to·der·mic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ectoderm

leather, wool, fur, skin, fleece, shell, hide, pelt, crust, husk, scale, membrane, rind, integument, pellicle, epidermis, felt, ectoderm, pelage, peltry

Examples from the Web for ectoderm

Historical Examples of ectoderm

British Dictionary definitions for ectoderm



  1. the outer germ layer of an animal embryo, which gives rise to epidermis and nervous tissueSee also mesoderm, endoderm
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Derived Formsectodermal or ectodermic, 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

Word Origin and History for ectoderm


1861, from ecto- + -derm. Coined by Prussian embryologist Robert Remak (1815-1865).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ectoderm in Medicine


  1. The outermost of the three primary germ layers of an embryo, from which the epidermis, nervous tissue, and sense organs develop.ectoblast
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Related formsec′to•dermal null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ectoderm in Science


  1. The outermost of the primary germ layers of an animal embryo. In vertebrates, the ectoderm gives rise to the epidermis and associated tissues (such as hair and sweat glands), enamel of the teeth, sense organs, nervous system, and lining of the nose, mouth, and anus. Compare endoderm mesoderm.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.