se·​pal ˈsē-pəl How to pronounce sepal (audio)
: one of the modified leaves comprising a calyx see flower illustration

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The sepals and all those fancy Latin words that tell you what’s what. Stephen Orr, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Mar. 2023 Flowers are built from parts named sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels, which are arranged in whorls. Dhananjay Khadilkar, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2023 The sepals, which are pink, petal-like extensions of the flower, look like wings while the lip (or labellum) mimics the body of a bee. Patricia Shannon, Southern Living, 30 Apr. 2020 The flowers endure because the petals are in fact thick structures called sepals. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2020 The mullet dress, cast in a print of pink roses and green sepals, highlighted her signature glow, which was further accentuated by a matching minaudière by Tyler Ellis and heels by . Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, 3 Jan. 2020 But the sterile flowers each bear four large, showy, white sepals making an individual flower from 1/2-inch to 1-inch across. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 22 June 2018 The inflorescence reaches 12 to 18 inches long, bearing colorful flowers with white lavender petals and orange sepals. Karen Dardick,, 17 May 2018 Pick some yellow dandelion tops, remove the green sepal holding the flowers together, cover them with honey in a jar, label, and cap until the winter solstice on December 21 for a little summertime flower power. Christine Buckley, Bon Appetit, 12 June 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sepal.' 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 sepalum, from sep- (irregular from Greek skepē covering) + -alum (as in petalum petal)

First Known Use

1821, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sepal was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near sepal

Cite this Entry

“Sepal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


se·​pal ˈsēp-əl How to pronounce sepal (audio)
: one of the specialized leaves that form the calyx of a flower

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