[ pol-uh n ]
/ ˈpɒl ən /


the fertilizing element of flowering plants, consisting of fine, powdery, yellowish grains or spores, sometimes in masses.

verb (used with object)


Nearby words

  1. pollan,
  2. pollard,
  3. pollbook,
  4. polled,
  5. pollee,
  6. pollen analysis,
  7. pollen basket,
  8. pollen brush,
  9. pollen count,
  10. pollen grain

Origin of pollen

1515–25; < New Latin, special use of Latin: fine flour, mill dust

Related formspol·len·less, adjectivepol·len·like, adjectivepol·lin·ic [puh-lin-ik] /pəˈlɪn ɪk/, pol·lin·i·cal, adjectiveun·pol·lened, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pollen

British Dictionary definitions for pollen


/ (ˈpɒlən) /


a fine powdery substance produced by the anthers of seed-bearing plants, consisting of numerous fine grains containing the male gametes
Derived Formspollinic (pəˈlɪnɪk), adjective

Word Origin for pollen

C16: from Latin: powder; compare Greek palē pollen


/ (ˈpɒlən) /


Daniel. 1813–96, New Zealand statesman, born in Ireland: prime minister of New Zealand (1876)
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

Medicine definitions for pollen


[ pŏlən ]


Microspores of seed plants carried by wind or insects prior to fertilization.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for pollen


[ pŏlən ]

Powdery grains that contain the male reproductive cells of most plants. In gymnosperms, pollen is produced by male cones or conelike structures. In angiosperms, pollen is produced by the anthers at the end of stamens in flowers. Each pollen grain contains a generative cell, which divides into two nuclei (one of which fertilizes the egg), and a tube cell, which grows into a pollen tube to conduct the generative cell or the nuclei into the ovule. The pollen grain is the male gametophyte generation of seed-bearing plants. In gymnosperms, each pollen grain also contains two sterile cells (called prothallial cells), thought to be remnants of the vegetative tissue of the male gametophyte.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for pollen


The male sex cells in plants. In flowering plants, pollen is produced in thin filaments in the flower called stamens. (See fertilization and pollination.)


When pollen is carried into the air by the wind, it frequently causes allergic reactions (see allergy) in humans.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.