• 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 hypodermis

Historical Examples

  • The hypodermis of this region is of two distinct types of cells.

    Handbook of Medical Entomology

    William Albert Riley

  • The term 'hypodermis' frequently applied to this layer is misleading.

    The Life-Story of Insects

    Geo. H. Carpenter

  • The cells of the hypodermis multiply greatly, and lie one above the other in numerous layers.

    Our Common Insects

    Alpheus Spring Packard

  • The hypodermis of the larva passes directly into that of the imago.

  • The hypodermis is the immediate agent in effecting the external changes.

British Dictionary definitions for hypodermis



  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

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

hypodermis in Medicine


  1. An epidermal layer of cells that secretes an overlying chitinous cuticle, as in arthropods.
  2. tela subcutanea