car·​un·​cle | \ ˈker-ˌəŋ-kəl How to pronounce caruncle (audio) , ˈka-ˌrəŋ-, kə-ˈrəŋ- How to pronounce caruncle (audio) \

Definition of caruncle

1 : a naked fleshy outgrowth (such as a bird's wattle)
2 : an outgrowth on a seed adjacent to the micropyle (see micropyle sense 1)

Examples of caruncle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Center the fiber-optic front barrel bead (or crosshair or dot of an optic) just above the major caruncles, those fleshy, gaudy, beautiful red bubbles on the base of a gobbler’s neck. Michael Hanback, Outdoor Life, "25 Top Spring Turkey Hunting Tips," 20 Apr. 2020 Aim for the point on the bird’s neck where the red caruncles meet feathers and squeeze the trigger. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, "How to Pattern a Turkey Hunting Gun," 14 Apr. 2020 Here’s another fun fact: Male turkeys, called toms, have bald, featherless heads with all sorts of dangling skin flaps and knobs known as the snood, the wattle and caruncles. Jason Bittel, Washington Post, "Turkeys are much more than the main attraction at Thanksgiving," 17 Nov. 2019 In the developing embryo, the beak originates near the caruncle and then gradually expands backward. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "How Dinosaurs Swapped Terrifying Teeth for Bird Beaks," 26 Sep. 2017 Beaked groups like birds and turtles have caruncles, but snakes and nearly all lizards do not. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "How Dinosaurs Swapped Terrifying Teeth for Bird Beaks," 26 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caruncle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caruncle

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for caruncle

obsolete French caruncule, from Latin caruncula little piece of flesh, diminutive of caro flesh — more at carnal

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Time Traveler for caruncle

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The first known use of caruncle was in 1615

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Cite this Entry

“Caruncle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for caruncle


car·​un·​cle | \ ˈkar-əŋ-kəl How to pronounce caruncle (audio) , kə-ˈrəŋ- How to pronounce caruncle (audio) \

Medical Definition of caruncle

: a small fleshy growth specifically : a reddish growth situated at the urethral meatus in women and causing pain and bleeding — see lacrimal caruncle

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