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: kernellate
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).