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See more synonyms for pericarp on Thesaurus.com
noun Botany.
  1. the walls of a ripened ovary or fruit, sometimes consisting of three layers, the epicarp, mesocarp, and endocarp.
  2. a membranous envelope around the cystocarp of red algae.
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Origin of pericarp

1750–60; < New Latin pericarpium < Greek perikárpion pod. See peri-, -carp
Related formsper·i·car·pi·al, per·i·car·pic, adjectiveper·i·car·poi·dal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pericarp

case, integument, scale, skeleton, chassis, hull, frame, shard, shuck, framework, husk, skin, pod, crust, nut, pericarp, plastron, carapace

Examples from the Web for pericarp

Historical Examples of pericarp

  • Grain is free, rugose, and the pericarp is hyaline and loose.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

    Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar

  • The pericarp or pod contains about twenty-four prismatic-shaped nuts.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • It is official in all Pharmacopœias and the pericarp is the part employed.

  • The pericarp is membranaceous, and adheres to the seed, forming a kind of caryopsides.

  • The parts of the pericarp of the nut are united so as to appear one.

British Dictionary definitions for pericarp


  1. the part of a fruit enclosing the seeds that develops from the wall of the ovary
  2. a layer of tissue around the reproductive bodies of some algae and fungi
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Derived Formspericarpial or pericarpic, adjective

Word Origin for pericarp

C18: via French from New Latin pericarpium
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

pericarp in Science


  1. The tissue that arises from the ripened ovary wall of a fruit; the fruit wall. In fleshy fruits, the pericarp can often be divided into the exocarp, the mesocarp, and the endocarp. For example, in a peach, the skin is the exocarp, the yellow flesh is the mesocarp, while the stone or pit surrounding the seed represents the endocarp.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.