Definition of epidermis
1 a : 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 b : any of various animal integuments
2 : a thin surface layer of tissue in higher plants formed by growth of a primary meristem
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-
First Known Use: 1626
EPIDERMIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of epidermis for English Language Learners
medical : the outer layer of skin
EPIDERMIS Defined for Kids
Definition of epidermis for Students
1 : a thin outer layer of skin covering the dermis
2 : any of various thin outer layers of plants or animals
Medical Definition of epidermis
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: any of various animal integuments
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