[ ov-yool, oh-vyool ]
See synonyms for ovule on Thesaurus.com
  1. Botany.

    • a rudimentary seed.

    • the plant part that contains the embryo sac and hence the female germ cell, which after fertilization develops into a seed.

  2. Biology. a small egg.

Origin of ovule

First recorded in 1820–30, ovule is from the Latin word ōvulum little egg. See ovum, -ule

Words Nearby ovule

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ovule in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ovule


/ (ˈɒvjuːl) /

  1. a small body in seed-bearing plants that consists of the integument(s), nucellus, and embryosac (containing the egg cell) and develops into the seed after fertilization

  2. zoology an immature ovum

Origin of ovule

C19: via French from Medieval Latin ōvulum a little egg, from Latin ōvum egg

Derived forms of ovule

  • ovular, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for ovule


[ ōvyōōl, ŏvyōōl ]

  1. The female reproductive structure that develops into a seed in a seed-bearing plant. An ovule consists of a megasporangium surrounded by one or two layers of tissue called integuments. The megasporangium produces spores that develop into megagametophytes. These megagametophytes remain within the tissues of the ovule and produce one or more egg cells. Sperm from pollen grains enter the ovule through an opening called a micropyle and fertilize the egg cells. The resulting embryo then begins to develop within the ovule, which becomes a seed. Among the conifers and cycads, the ovules are typically found in pairs on scales in the female cones. The ovules of angiosperms are contained in a structure called the ovary within in the flower. See more at flower gametophyte megasporogenesis pollination.

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