One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tough outer protective layer, especially that of an animal or plant.
- ‘Hosts may be infected via the integument or via the gut epithelium.’
- ‘Legumes possess highly differentiated seed coats that arise from the inner and outer integuments of the ovule.’
- ‘During development of the ovule, the inner of the two integuments disappears, while the outer integument differentiates into different layers of the seed coat.’
- ‘The outer integument remains two cell layers thick throughout development and does not contribute to the micropyle.’
- ‘The integument is a layer of tissue found in all seeds; it is produced by the parent plant, and develops into the seed coat.’
Early 17th century (denoting a covering or coating): from Latin integumentum, from the verb integere, from in- ‘in’ + tegere ‘to cover’.
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