One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Each of the one-seeded units into which a schizocarp separates at maturity, each unit forming a dry indehiscent fruit; especially either of the halves of the fruit (cremocarp) of a plant of the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in John Lindley (1799–1865), botanist and horticulturist. Irregularly from ancient Greek μερίς part + -carp, after post-classical Latin mericarpium.
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