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pappus

[pap-uh s]
noun, plural pap·pi [pap-ahy] /ˈpæp aɪ/. Botany.
  1. a downy, bristly, or other tuftlike appendage of the achene of certain plants, as the dandelion and the thistle.
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Origin of pappus

1695–1705; < New Latin < Greek páppos down, literally, grandfather (taken as greybeard, white hairs, down)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pappus

pappus

noun plural pappi (ˈpæpaɪ)
  1. a ring of fine feathery hairs surrounding the fruit in composite plants, such as the thistle; aids dispersal of the fruits by the wind
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Derived Formspappose or pappous, adjective

Word Origin for pappus

C18: via New Latin, from Greek pappos grandfather, old man, old man's beard, hence: pappus, down
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

pappus in Science

pappus

[păpəs]
Plural pappi (păpī)
  1. A structure made of scales, bristles, or featherlike hairs that is attached to the seeds (called cypselae) of plants of the composite family and that aids in dispersal by the wind. The downy part of a dandelion or thistle seed is a pappus. The pappus is derived from a modified calyx.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.