velamen

noun

ve·​la·​men və-ˈlā-mən How to pronounce velamen (audio)
plural velamina və-ˈla-mə-nə How to pronounce velamen (audio)
: the thick corky epidermis of aerial roots of an epiphytic orchid that absorbs water from the atmosphere

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Word History

Etymology

short for New Latin vēlāmen rādicum, literally, "covering of the roots"; Latin vēlāmen "covering," from vēlāre "to cover, clothe" (verbal derivative of vēlum "awning, curtain") + -men, suffix of result — more at veil entry 1

First Known Use

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of velamen was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near velamen

Cite this Entry

“Velamen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/velamen. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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