noun \ˈa-rəl, ˈer-əl\

Definition of ARIL

:  an exterior covering or appendage of some seeds (as of the yew) that develops after fertilization as an outgrowth from the ovule stalk
ar·il·late \ˈa-rə-ˌlāt, ˈer-ə-\ adjective

Origin of ARIL

probably from New Latin arillus, from Medieval Latin, raisin, grape seed
First Known Use: 1794

Rhymes with ARIL


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Special covering of certain seeds that commonly develops from the seed stalk. It is often a bright-coloured fleshy envelope, as in such woody plants as the yews and nutmeg and in members of the arrowroot family, oxalis, and the castor-oil plant. Animals are attracted to arils and eat the seeds, dispersing them in their wastes. The aril of nutmeg is the source of the spice known as mace.


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