[noo-sel-uh s, nyoo-]
noun, plural nu·cel·li [noo-sel-ahy, nyoo-] /nuˈsɛl aɪ, nyu-/. Botany.
  1. the central cellular mass of the body of the ovule, containing the embryo sac.

Origin of nucellus

1880–85; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin nuc- (stem of nux) nut + -ella -elle
Related formsnu·cel·lar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for nucellus


noun plural -li (-laɪ)
  1. the central part of a plant ovule containing the embryo sac
Derived Formsnucellar, adjective

Word Origin for nucellus

C19: New Latin, from Latin nucella, from nux nut
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

nucellus in Science


Plural nucelli (nōō-sĕlī)
  1. The megasporangium of a seed-bearing plant, located in the ovule. In angiosperms, it is the central portion of the ovule in which the embryo sac develops. In some cases of apomixis (production of seeds without fertilization), cells of the nucellus develop into an embryo.
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