• synonyms


  1. Zoology. an underlayer of epithelial cells in arthropods and certain other invertebrates that secretes substances for the overlying cuticle or exoskeleton.
  2. Botany. a tissue or layer of cells beneath the epidermis.
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Also hy·po·derm [hahy-puh-durm] /ˈhaɪ pəˌdɜrm/.

Origin of hypodermis

First recorded in 1865–70; hypo- + -dermis
Related formshy·po·der·mal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hypodermal

Historical Examples of hypodermal

  • Dermal glands: hypodermal unicellular glands which secrete wax, setae, spines, etc.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • Dr. Hagen has divided the colours of insects into two classes, the epidermal and hypodermal.

  • In this connection, Dr. Hagen remarks, that probably all mimetic colours are hypodermal.

  • The hypodermal colours are usually lighter than the epidermal, and are sometimes changed by a voluntary act.

British Dictionary definitions for hypodermal



  1. botany a layer of thick-walled supportive or water-storing cells beneath the epidermis in some plants
  2. zoology the epidermis of arthropods, annelids, etc, which secretes and is covered by a cuticle
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Word Origin for hypodermis

C19: from hypo- + epidermis
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

hypodermal in Medicine


  1. An epidermal layer of cells that secretes an overlying chitinous cuticle, as in arthropods.
  2. tela subcutanea
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.