Definition of ovule in US English:



  • 1A small or immature ovum.

    • ‘We detected no advantage to multiple paternity in reducing either the number of unfertilized ovules or stillborn young.’
    • ‘The ovule has a complex structure, with several substructures spatially organized.’
    1. 1.1Botany The part of the ovary of seed plants that contains the female germ cell and after fertilization becomes the seed.
      • ‘Distal flowers are often smaller and produce fewer or smaller ovules, seeds and fruits, but they may have higher pollen production.’
      • ‘Once the pollen has fertilized the egg cell contained within the ovule, the ovule develops into a seed, and the ovary of the enclosing carpel begins to enlarge and ripen, forming the fruit.’
      • ‘It is well known that most flowering plants produce more ovules than the number of seeds they mature.’
      • ‘Relative to self-pollination, outcross pollination results in greater proportion of flowers setting fruit, and greater proportion of ovules yielding seeds per fruit.’
      • ‘The number of pollen tubes and ovules in the ovaries of each of six dissected pistils from each cross is shown.’
      embryo, bud, nucleus, seed, spore, egg, ovum
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Early 19th century: from French, from medieval Latin ovulum, diminutive of ovum.