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tapetum

[ tuh-pee-tuhm ]

noun

, plural ta·pe·ta [t, uh, -, pee, -t, uh].
  1. Botany. a layer of cells often investing the archespore in a developing sporangium and absorbed as the spores mature.
  2. Anatomy, Zoology. any of certain membranous layers or layered coverings, as in the choroid of the eyes of certain animals.


tapetum

/ təˈpiːtəm /

noun

  1. a layer of nutritive cells in the sporangia of ferns and anthers of flowering plants that surrounds developing spore cells
    1. a membranous reflecting layer of cells in the choroid of the eye of nocturnal vertebrates
    2. a similar structure in the eyes of certain nocturnal insects
  2. anatomy a covering layer of cells behind the retina of the eye


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Derived Forms

  • taˈpetal, adjective
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Other Words From

  • ta·petal adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of tapetum1

1705–15; < New Latin, special use of Medieval Latin tapētum coverlet ( Latin, only plural) < Greek tapēt- (stem of tápēs ) carpet, rug
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Word History and Origins

Origin of tapetum1

C18: from New Latin, from Medieval Latin: covering, from Latin tapēte carpet, from Greek tapēs carpet
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Example Sentences

The subject, however, of the various colours of the tapetum in different animals is not yet understood.

Iris tapetum: the pigment layer of the compound eye just below the crystalline cone.

The tapetum lucidum is found in Ungulata, Cetacea and Carnivora.

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