Definition of plumule in US English:



  • 1Botany
    The rudimentary shoot or stem of an embryo plant.

    • ‘The embryo epidermis, the plumule and the radicle tissues were never probed.’
    • ‘Radicles or plumules were excised from the embryos and similarly incubated.’
    sprout, shoot, flowerlet, floret
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  • 2Ornithology
    A bird's down feather, numbers of which form an insulating layer under the contour feathers.

    • ‘Geese are larger than ducks so their down plumules are larger and typically geese from colder climates such as central and northern Europe have the largest plumules.’
    • ‘The second group includes down feathers, or plumules, which are softer and shorter than contour feathers.’
    plume, quill
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Early 18th century: from French plumule or Latin plumula ‘small feather’, diminutive of pluma ‘down’.