epidermis

play
noun epi·der·mis \ˌe-pə-ˈdər-məs\

Definition of epidermis

  1. 1a :  the outer epithelial layer of the external integument of the animal body that is derived from the embryonic epiblast; specifically :  the outer nonsensitive and nonvascular layer of the skin of a vertebrate that overlies the dermisb :  any of various animal integuments

  2. 2 :  a thin surface layer of tissue in higher plants formed by growth of a primary meristem

Recent Examples of epidermis from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Epidermis includes the Greek prefix epi-, meaning "outer;" thus, the epidermis overlies the dermis, or inner layer of skin. The epidermis itself consists of four or five layers; the outermost layer is made of dead cells, which are being shed continuously. The epidermis acts as a physical barrier—a protective wrap over the body's surface, which, by preventing water loss, allows vertebrates to live on land.

Origin and Etymology of epidermis

Late Latin, from Greek, from epi- + derma skin — more at derm-


EPIDERMIS Defined for English Language Learners

epidermis

play
noun

Definition of epidermis for English Language Learners

  • medical : the outer layer of skin


EPIDERMIS Defined for Kids

epidermis

play
noun epi·der·mis \ˌe-pə-ˈdər-məs\

Definition of epidermis for Students

  1. 1 :  a thin outer layer of skin covering the dermis

  2. 2 :  any of various thin outer layers of plants or animals


Medical Dictionary

epidermis

play
noun epi·der·mis \-ˈdər-məs\

Medical Definition of epidermis

  1. 1:  the outer epithelial layer of the external integument of the animal body that is derived from the embryonic epiblast; specifically :  the outer nonsensitive and nonvascular layer of the skin of a vertebrate that overlies the dermis

  2. 2:  any of various animal integuments

Illustration of epidermis



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up epidermis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to reach the highest or a decisive point

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!