ar·​il ˈa-rəl How to pronounce aril (audio)
: an exterior covering or appendage of some seeds (as of the yew) that develops after fertilization as an outgrowth from the ovule stalk
ˈa-rə-ˌlāt How to pronounce aril (audio)

Examples of aril in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Firm, cool arils wake up the palate, particularly pleasing when the rest of the meal is warm and rich. Aleksandra Crapanzano / Photographs By F. Martin Ramin/the Wall Street Journal, Food Styling By Kim Ramin , WSJ, 10 Nov. 2023 The arils have skin softening and hydration benefits. Jillian Brewster, Redbook, 17 Aug. 2023 Finish and serve: Divide yogurt mixture evenly among 6 bowls, and top evenly with citrus segments, Peanut Crumble, and pomegranate arils. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 1 Aug. 2023 Our nutrition pros point out that the arils are packed with nutrients and fiber too. Good Housekeeping, 20 June 2023 Top the salad with pomegranate arils, pistachios, scallions, salt, and pepper. 09 Ham Salad This old-school spread always stays in style. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 21 June 2023 Breakfast Yogurt parfait layered with berries, pomegranate arils, chia, nuts and seeds, topped with a cinnamon sprinkle or citrus zest Egg scramble or omelet prepared with spinach, peppers, and low-fat cheese. Good Housekeeping, 22 Feb. 2023 The standout was a creamy drink called the Red Fox with pomegranate rose kombucha, house grenadine, aquafaba, oat milk, and pomegranate arils. ELLE, 17 Feb. 2023 This herbaceous dip from northern Iran hits all the right notes with briny green olives, fresh cilantro and mint, fruity pomegranate molasses and arils and rich-nuttiness from walnuts. Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aril.' 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 New Latin arillus, going back to Medieval Latin, "grape seed," borrowed from a central or southern Italian dialectal form (as Lazio dialect [Subiaco] aríłu "grape seed," 16th-century Sicilian arillu), going back to Vulgar Latin *arīllus, of obscure origin

Note: See Lessico etimologico italiano, vol. 3, columns 1151-55. The inclusion of arillus in the Corpus Glossariorum Latinorum (and hence the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae) is misleading, as the marginal note in the manuscript that uses the word (Biblioteca Ambrosiana C 243) is later than the manuscript itself (10th-llth centuries)—hence a Late Latin date for the word is not supportable, and the Medieval Latin instances (see Mittellateinisches Wörterbuch, Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources) are clearly latinizations of a vernacular word. Judging by the medieval attestation in glossaries and in works of both a medical and botanical nature, the Lessico suggests that the word may have first circulated in the Salerno school of medicine (Schola Medica Salernitana). Such a source corresponds well with the range of its outcomes in Romance, limited to Italian dialects from Lazio and Abruzzi south through Sicily. The date at which arillus became a technical botanical term is uncertain. It was familiar to Linnaeus, who uses it in a somewhat more general sense: "tunica propria exterior seminis, sponte secedens" ("the exterior coat of the seed proper, dropping off of its own accord") (Philosophia botanica [Stockholm, 1751], p. 54).

First Known Use

1794, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aril was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near aril

Cite this Entry

“Aril.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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