: a small dry indehiscent one-seeded fruit (as of a sunflower) developing from a simple ovary and usually having a thin pericarp attached to the seed at only one point

Examples of achene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the base of each twisty tail is an achene, or tiny fruit. Robert Llewellyn and Teri Dunn Chace, Discover Magazine, 14 Sep. 2015 Think of the seeds (achenes) on the outside of a berry. Ellen Nibali,, 27 June 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'achene.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French achène, akène, borrowed from New Latin achena, from a- a- entry 2 + -chena, feminine noun derivative from the stem of Greek chaínein "to yawn, gape" — more at yawn entry 1

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of achene was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near achene

Cite this Entry

“Achene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a small dry one-seeded fruit (as of the sunflower) that ripens without bursting open

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