Definition of ovule in US English:



  • 1A small or immature ovum.

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