noun \ˈkər-nəl\

: the small, somewhat soft part inside a seed or nut

: a whole seed; especially : one of the yellow seeds that cover an ear of corn

: a very small amount of something

Full Definition of KERNEL

chiefly dialect :  a fruit seed
:  the inner softer part of a seed, fruit stone, or nut
:  a whole seed of a cereal <a kernel of corn>
:  a central or essential part :  germ <like many stereotypes … this one too contains some kernels of truth — S. M. Lyman>
:  a subset of the elements of one set (as a group) that a function (as a homomorphism) maps onto an identity element of another set

Examples of KERNEL

  1. There's not a kernel of truth in what they say.
  2. <the kernel of your argument seems to be the inevitability of the division of that nation along ethnic lines>

Origin of KERNEL

Middle English, from Old English cyrnel, diminutive of corn
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Botany Terms

annual, burgeon, chloroplast, nomenclature, succulent, sylvan, xylem

Rhymes with KERNEL


Next Word in the Dictionary: kerneled
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Kern
All Words Near: kernel

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up kernel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More