Definition of pericarp in US English:



  • The part of a fruit formed from the wall of the ripened ovary.

    • ‘Prior to seed germination, the pericarp of a dispersed fruit opens to form a small slit near the stylar end.’
    • ‘Fruits had the pericarps removed and the seeds were stratified.’
    • ‘Mature fruits were collected manually from the ground and the fibrous pericarps were removed using a mechanical dehusker immediately following harvest.’
    • ‘All enzyme assays were performed with naked seeds, i.e. seeds from which the pericarp was removed.’
    • ‘The enzyme indeed increases during ripening, and is concentrated in the skin and outer pericarp of the fruit.’
    skin, peel, covering, zest
    View synonyms


Late 17th century: from French péricarpe, from Greek perikarpion ‘pod, shell’, from peri- ‘around’ + karpos ‘fruit’.