[ per-i-kahrp ]
See synonyms for pericarp on
  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.

Origin of pericarp

1750–60; <New Latin pericarpium<Greek perikárpion pod. See peri-, -carp

Other words from pericarp

  • per·i·car·pi·al, per·i·car·pic, adjective
  • per·i·car·poi·dal, adjective

Words Nearby pericarp Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pericarp in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pericarp


/ (ˈpɛrɪˌkɑːp) /

  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

Origin of pericarp

C18: via French from New Latin pericarpium

Derived forms of pericarp

  • pericarpial or pericarpic, 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 pericarp


[ pĕrĭ-kärp′ ]

  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.

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