Definition of epidermis in English:



  • 1The outer layer of cells covering an organism, in particular:

    • ‘Basal cell carcinoma is a tumor arising from the basal cell layer of the epidermis.’
    • ‘In oil-treated fruit, cells with degenerated contents were located in all cell layers from the epidermis downwards.’
    • ‘Basal cell carcinomas are derived from the basal layer of keratinocytes, which is the deepest cell layer of the epidermis.’
    • ‘The outer layer is the epidermis, which contains a thin section of dead cells called the stratum corneum.’
    • ‘There is another layer of cells between the basal cells and the keratin-rich epidermis known as spiny cells.’
    1. 1.1Anatomy Zoology The surface epithelium of the skin of an animal, overlying the dermis.
      • ‘The skin consists of an epidermis, dermis, adipose tissue layer and subcutaneous connective tissue.’
      • ‘At the end of gastrulation, the epidermis only covers the dorsal region and the ventral region is bare.’
      • ‘A second-degree burn involves the epidermis, the dermis and usually forms blisters that may be the result of superficial or deep dermal necrosis.’
      • ‘The thickness of the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue varies from person to person and from one part of the body to another.’
      • ‘Although it is composed of two primary layers, the outer epidermis and the inner dermis, it also contains arteries, veins, nerve fibers, sweat glands and hair follicles among other things.’
      epidermis, dermis
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Botany The outer layer of tissue in a plant, except where it is replaced by periderm.
      • ‘The plant epidermis is a multifunctional tissue playing important roles in water relations, defence and pollinator attraction.’
      • ‘In the epidermis of third-year leaves, the densest silica deposition was observed in silica cells of both the adaxial and abaxial epidermises as in first-year leaves.’
      • ‘Leaves are composed of various kinds of tissues, including epidermis, mesophyll, bundle sheath, and vascular bundles.’
      • ‘Tomato is a fleshy fruit composed of different tissues: the epidermis, the pericarp and the placenta, and locular tissue including seeds (pulp).’
      • ‘Guard cells are located in the epidermis of plant leaves and, in pairs, form stomatal pores.’


Early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek, from epi upon + derma skin.