[ kur-nl ]
/ ˈkɜr nl /


verb (used with object), ker·neled, ker·nel·ing or (especially British) ker·nelled, ker·nel·ling.

to enclose as a kernel.

Nearby words

  1. kermesite,
  2. kermis,
  3. kermit,
  4. kern,
  5. kern, jerome,
  6. kernel sentence,
  7. kernel smut,
  8. kernelly,
  9. kernicterus,
  10. kernig's sign

Origin of kernel

before 1000; Middle English kirnel, Old English cyrnel, diminutive of corn seed, corn1

Related formsker·nel·less, adjectiveker·nel·ly, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kernel

British Dictionary definitions for kernel


/ (ˈkɜːnəl) /


the edible central part of a seed, nut, or fruit within the shell or stone
the grain of a cereal, esp wheat, consisting of the seed in a hard husk
the central or essential part of something

verb -nels, -nelling or -nelled or US -nels, -neling or -neled

(intr) rare to form kernels
Derived Formskernel-less, adjective

Word Origin for kernel

Old English cyrnel a little seed, from corn seed; see corn 1

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 kernel



Old English cyrnel "seed, kernel, pip," from Proto-Germanic *kurnilo- (cf. Middle High German kornel, Middle Dutch cornel), from the root of corn "seed, grain" (see corn (n.1)) + -el, diminutive suffix. Figurative sense of "core or central part of anything" is from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for kernel


[ kûrnəl ]

A grain or seed, as of a cereal grass, enclosed in a husk.
The inner, usually edible seed of a nut or fruit stone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.