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See more synonyms for stipule on Thesaurus.com
noun Botany.
  1. one of a pair of lateral appendages, often leaflike, at the base of a leaf petiole in many plants.
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Origin of stipule

1785–95; < Latin stipula stalk, noun use of feminine of *stipulus firm (recorded in LL); akin to stipes
Related formsstip·u·lar, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for stipules

needle, stalk, frond, petal, scale, blade, leaflet, flag, pad, bract, stipule, petiole, foliole

Examples from the Web for stipules

Historical Examples of stipules

  • Leaves but little or not at all heart-shaped; stipules linear-lanceolate.

    Trees of the Northern United States

    Austin C. Apgar

  • Even if the stipules have dropped off, the small scars remain.

  • Most Willows show the stipules on the young luxuriant growths.

  • The presence and character of the stipules should always be noted.

    Field and Woodland Plants

    William S. Furneaux

  • Its stipules are large, narrow-oval in form, with an arrow-shaped base.

    Field and Woodland Plants

    William S. Furneaux

British Dictionary definitions for stipules


  1. a small paired usually leaflike outgrowth occurring at the base of a leaf or its stalk
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Derived Formsstipular (ˈstɪpjʊlə), adjective

Word Origin for stipule

C18: from Latin; see stipe, stipes
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 stipules



"small appendage at the base of the petiole of a leaf," 1793, from French stipule, from Latin stipula "stalk (of hay), straw."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stipules in Science


  1. One of the usually small, paired parts resembling leaves at the base of a leafstalk in certain plants, such as roses and beans.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.