epidermis [ ep-i- dur-mis ] SHOW IPA / ˌɛp ɪˈdɜr mɪs / PHONETIC RESPELLING noun Anatomy. the outer, nonvascular, nonsensitive layer of the skin, covering the true skin or corium. Zoology. the outermost living layer of an animal, usually composed of one or more layers of cells. Botany. a thin layer of cells forming the outer integument of seed plants and ferns.
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Origin of epidermis
1620–30; <Late Latin: surface skin <Greek
upper skin. See
derma 1 OTHER WORDS FROM epidermis ep·i·der·mal, ep·i·der·mic, adjective ep·i·der·mi·cal·ly, adverb
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
How to use epidermis in a sentence
The different species have characteristic tubes, formed by mucus secreted by epidermal glands.
The epidermal cells are almost oblong, while the parenchymatous cells are large, irregular and contain large quantities of tannin.
As the disease spreads the oldest part becomes dry and heals, the new epidermal covering being thin and atrophic in appearance.
When a wound is made certain layers of epidermal cells undergo rapid cell division.
British Dictionary definitions for epidermis noun Also called: cuticle the thin protective outer layer of the skin, composed of stratified epithelial tissue the outer layer of cells of an invertebrate the outer protective layer of cells of a plant, which may be thickened by a cuticle Derived forms of epidermis epidermal, epidermic or epidermoid, adjective Word Origin for epidermis
C17: via Late Latin from Greek, from
epi- + derma skin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Medical definitions for epidermis n. The nonvascular outer protective layer of the skin, covering the dermis. Other words from epidermis ep′i•der ( ′mal -məl) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for epidermis The protective outer layer of the skin. In invertebrate animals, the epidermis is made up of a single layer of cells. In vertebrates, it is made up of many layers of cells and overlies the dermis. Hair and feathers grow from the epidermis. The outer layer of cells of the stems, roots, and leaves of plants. In most plants, the epidermis is a single layer of cells set close together to protect the plant from water loss, invasion by fungi, and physical damage. The epidermis that is exposed to air is covered with a protective substance called cuticle. See more at photosynthesis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for epidermis
The outside layers of the
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.