[ noo-sel-uh s, nyoo- ]
/ nuˈsɛl əs, nyu- /

noun, plural nu·cel·li [noo-sel-ahy, nyoo-] /nuˈsɛl aɪ, nyu-/. Botany.

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 forms

nu·cel·lar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nucellus

British Dictionary definitions for nucellus


/ (njuːˈsɛləs) /

noun plural -li (-laɪ)

the central part of a plant ovule containing the embryo sac

Derived Forms

nucellar, 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

Science definitions for nucellus


[ nōō-sĕləs ]

Plural nucelli (nōō-sĕlī)

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.