peri·​carp ˈper-ə-ˌkärp How to pronounce pericarp (audio)
plural pericarps
: the ripened and variously modified walls of a plant ovary composed of an outer exocarp, middle mesocarp, and inner endocarp layer see endocarp illustration

Examples of pericarp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each has a tough outer shell, called the pericarp, within which lies the germ (seed embryo) and the endosperm. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Dec. 2022 As the kernel heats up, the water inside the endosperm turns into superheated steam, increasing the pressure inside the pericarp. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Dec. 2022 And of the proteins in the sample, 13 are found only in einkorn’s genus, mostly in the inner contents and the outer layer, or pericarp, of the seeds. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 13 July 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pericarp.' 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 pericarpium, from Greek perikarpion pod, from peri- + -karpion -carp

First Known Use

1759, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pericarp was in 1759

Dictionary Entries Near pericarp

Cite this Entry

“Pericarp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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