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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

Examples from the Web for pericarp

Historical Examples

  • 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

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.