car·​pel ˈkär-pəl How to pronounce carpel (audio)
: one of the ovule-bearing structures in an angiosperm that comprises the innermost whorl of a flower compare pistil
carpellary adjective
carpellate adjective

Examples of carpel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Flowers are built from parts named sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels, which are arranged in whorls. Dhananjay Khadilkar, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2023 The carpel grabs the pollen and transfers it to a chamber called an ovary, where seeds develop. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 26 May 2021 Her hypochondriac and pregnant mother, Alli Mauzey, is more invested in her recent carpel tunnel surgery than her daughter’s increasing demise. Jeryl Brunner, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 The carpel protects the ovules, as the fruit later protects the seed. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 Their seeds form in the carpel, a tubular structure that sticks up from the center of a flower and matures into a pod that holds seeds—peas or beans, for example—inside. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 26 May 2021 When petals are gone, structural carpels, the center seed-bearing structure, are shown off. Johanna Silver, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Apr. 2020 Fun facts: The fruits (schizocarps) of Falkia repens are dry dehiscent fruit that split into two or more separate carpels at maturity. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Jan. 2018 See More

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

Word History


New Latin carpellum, from Greek karpos fruit

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of carpel was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near carpel

Cite this Entry

“Carpel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


car·​pel ˈkär-pəl How to pronounce carpel (audio)
: one of the structures deep inside a flower that together make up the ovary of a flowering plant

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