[ en-duh-spurm ]

  1. nutritive matter in seed-plant ovules, derived from the embryo sac.

Origin of endosperm

1840–50; <French endosperme;see endo-, sperm1

Words Nearby endosperm

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How to use endosperm in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for endosperm


/ (ˈɛndəʊˌspɜːm) /

  1. the tissue within the seed of a flowering plant that surrounds and nourishes the developing embryo

Derived forms of endosperm

  • endospermic, 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 endosperm


[ ĕndə-spûrm′ ]

  1. The tissue that surrounds and provides nourishment to the embryo in the seeds of many angiosperms. The cells of the endosperm arise from a process similar to that of fertilization. The pollen of angiosperms contains two sperm, one of which fertilizes the egg cell in the female gametophyte. The second unites with two other nuclei in the female gametophyte, producing cells that are triploid (having three sets of chromosomes) and that develop into the endosperm. In some species of angiosperms, the endosperm is absorbed by the embryo before germination, while in others it is consumed during germination. Embyros that lack an endosperm (such as peas and beans) have absorbed most of their food storage tissues before becoming dormant and develop large, fleshy cotyledons.

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