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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

Examples from the Web for stipules

Historical Examples

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

    Trees of the Northern United States

    Austin C. Apgar

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

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

  • 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

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.