One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small nerve or vein in a leaf or other plant part or in an insect's wing.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Probably from French nervule vein in part of a plant, vein in an insect's wing from nerf + -ule. Compare classical Latin nervulus (in plural nervulī) energies, vigour, post-classical Latin nervulus ligament, tendon, a small nerve.
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