noun Botany.

supporting or protective tissue composed of thickened, dry, and hardened cells.

Origin of sclerenchyma

First recorded in 1860–65; scler- + (par)enchyma
Related formsscle·ren·chym·a·tous [skleer-eng-kim-uh-tuh s, skler-] /ˌsklɪər ɛŋˈkɪm ə təs, ˌsklɛr-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sclerenchyma

Historical Examples of sclerenchyma

  • In this group of species there is no segregation of sclerenchyma into an effective tissue.

    The Genus Pinus

    George Russell Shaw

  • Keel with sclerenchyma at its apex, and a small band of the same at the margins.


    H. Marshall Ward

  • Slight keel with sclerenchyma band: sclerenchyma at margin slight.


    H. Marshall Ward

  • The minute inner filaments of sclerenchyma are never continued far up the stalk, and are sometimes wanting altogether.

    Beautiful Ferns

    Daniel Cady Eaton

  • Vascular bundles of three orders, isolated, without girders, but with a small band of sclerenchyma above and below.


    H. Marshall Ward

British Dictionary definitions for sclerenchyma



a supporting tissue in plants consisting of dead cells with very thick lignified walls
Derived Formssclerenchymatous (ˌsklɪərɛŋˈkɪmətəs), adjective

Word Origin for sclerenchyma

C19: from sclero- + parenchyma
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

sclerenchyma in Science



A supportive tissue of vascular plants, consisting of thick-walled, usually lignified cells. Sclerenchyma cells normally die upon reaching maturity but continue to fulfill their structural purpose in the plant. There are two types of sclerenchyma cells: fiber cells and sclereids. Compare collenchyma parenchyma.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.