- the softer, usually edible part contained in the shell of a nut or the stone of a fruit.
- the body of a seed within its husk or integuments.
- a whole seed grain, as of wheat or corn.
- South Atlantic States. the pit or seed of a peach, cherry, plum, etc.
- the central or most important part of anything; essence; gist; core: His leadership is the kernel of the organization.
- Mathematics. the set of elements that a given function from one set to a second set maps into the identity of the second set.
- Also called rumpf. Physical Chemistry. the remainder of an atom after the valence electrons have been removed.
- to enclose as a kernel.
Origin of kernel
- 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
- (intr) rare to form kernels
Word Origin 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.
- A grain or seed, as of a cereal grass, enclosed in a husk.
- The inner, usually edible seed of a nut or fruit stone.