- embryonic tissue in plants; undifferentiated, growing, actively dividing cells.
Origin of meristem
1870–75; < Greek merist(ós) divided, distributed (equivalent to *merid-, stem of merízein to divide into parts (derivative of méris part, share) + -tos verbal adjective suffix) + -em < Greek -ēma termination of nouns denoting result of action; cf. -eme
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a plant tissue responsible for growth, whose cells divide and differentiate to form the tissues and organs of the plant. Meristems occur within the stem (see cambium) and leaves and at the tips of stems and roots
C19: from Greek meristos divided, from merizein to divide, from meris portion
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 meristem
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Plant tissue whose cells actively divide to form new tissues that cause the plant to grow. The originally undifferentiated cells of the meristem can produce specialized cells to form the tissues of roots, leaves, and other plant parts. The meristem includes the growing tips of roots and stems (the apical meristems) and the tissue layer known as cambium.
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