cary·​op·​sis ˌker-ē-ˈäp-səs How to pronounce caryopsis (audio)
plural caryopses ˌker-ē-ˈäp-ˌsēz How to pronounce caryopsis (audio)
also caryopsides ˌker-ē-ˈäp-sə-ˌdēz How to pronounce caryopsis (audio)
: a small one-seeded dry indehiscent fruit (as of corn or wheat) in which the fruit and seed fuse in a single grain

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But in corn's case, each kernel is what's called a caryopsis, basically a type of dry fruit where the ovary wall and the seed coat are fused into one layer. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 7 Dec. 2018 No Strictly botanically speaking, grains describe caryopses (a.k.a. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 10 Dec. 2018

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

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of caryopsis was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near caryopsis

Cite this Entry

“Caryopsis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

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