• synonyms


[rad-i-kuh l]
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  1. Botany.
    1. the lower part of the axis of an embryo; the primary root.
    2. a rudimentary root; radicel or rootlet.
  2. Chemistry. (formerly) radical(def 13).
  3. Anatomy. a small rootlike part or structure, as the beginning of a nerve or vein.
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Origin of radicle

1665–75; < Latin rādīcula small root, equivalent to rādīc- (stem of rādīx) root1 + -ula -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for radicle

origin, heart, stuff, foundation, essence, soul, stem, source, seed, footing, groundwork, seat, motive, nub, ground, basis, provenance, germ, fountain, bedrock

Examples from the Web for radicle

Historical Examples of radicle

  • Radicle or Radicula: that joint of the antenna that is articulated to the head.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • The -icle, in icicle, is apparently the same as the -icle in radicle.

  • Give the etymologies of the words icicle, radicle, and radical.

  • The radicle is blunt and is about 3⁄4 mm in length, while the cotyledons are 1⁄2 mm long.

    All About Coffee

    William H. Ukers

  • The initial stem on which they stand was called the Radicle.

British Dictionary definitions for radicle


  1. botany
    1. part of the embryo of seed-bearing plants that develops into the main root
    2. a very small root or rootlike part
  2. anatomy any bodily structure resembling a rootlet, esp one of the smallest branches of a vein or nerve
  3. chem a variant spelling of radical (def. 11)
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Word Origin for radicle

C18: from Latin rādīcula a little root, from rādīx root
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

Word Origin and History for radicle


1670s, in botany, from Latin radicula, diminutive of radix (see radish).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

radicle in Medicine


  1. A small structure, such as a fibril of a nerve, that resembles a root.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

radicle in Science


  1. The part of a plant embryo that develops into a root. In most seeds, the radicle is the first structure to emerge on germination.
  2. A small anatomical structure, such as a fibril of a nerve, that resembles a root.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.