pet·​i·​ole ˈpe-tē-ˌōl How to pronounce petiole (audio)
: a slender stem that supports the blade of a foliage leaf
: peduncle
specifically : a slender abdominal segment joining the rest of the abdomen to the thorax in some insects
petioled adjective

Examples of petiole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The disease can move out of the leaf into the petiole and into the cane. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 May 2023 The petiole attaches the leaf to the trunk and funnels water through a split in its base. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 17 Mar. 2015 The tiny prickles on the back of the petiole are hard to see and can really snag unsuspecting gardeners. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Sep. 2022 Richardson and her team tested both hypotheses in their model and found that the older idea, linking only the sheath to the petiole, offered the simplest evolutionary path and required only subtle changes in a common genetic blueprint. Julia Rosen, Scientific American, 30 Mar. 2022 In the 1800s botanists proposed that the sheath part of a grass leaf represented the evolutionary equivalent of the petiole, the stalk that connects a typical plant’s leaf to its stem. Julia Rosen, Scientific American, 30 Mar. 2022 The leaflets are attached opposite each other and there is one leaflet on the end of the petiole so that the leaf always has an odd number, with either three, five or seven leaflets. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Feb. 2022 An oak has a simple leaf with a small stem or petiole that attaches the leaf to the branch; but hickory has a compound leaf. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, 15 May 2021 The leaflets of the frond are attached on a petiole or stem. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, 15 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'petiole.' 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 petiolus, from Latin petiolus, peciolus small foot, fruit stalk, probably alteration of Latin *pediciolus, diminutive of pediculus, diminutive of ped-, pes foot — more at foot

First Known Use

1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of petiole was in 1753

Dictionary Entries Near petiole

Cite this Entry

“Petiole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


pet·​i·​ole ˈpet-ē-ˌōl How to pronounce petiole (audio)
: the thin stem of a leaf

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