the softer, usually edible part contained in the shell of a nut or the stone of a fruit.
the body of a seed within its husk or integuments.
a whole seed grain, as of wheat or corn.
South Atlantic States. the pit or seed of a peach, cherry, plum, etc.
the central or most important part of anything; essence; gist; core: His leadership is the kernel of the organization.
Mathematics. the set of elements that a given function from one set to a second set maps into the identity of the second set.
Also called rumpf. Physical Chemistry. the remainder of an atom after the valence electrons have been removed.
verb (used with object), kerneled, kerneling or (especially British) kernelled, kernelling.
to enclose as a kernel.

before 1000; Middle English kirnel, Old English cyrnel, diminutive of corn seed, corn1

kernelless, adjective
kernelly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
kernel (ˈkɜːnəl)
1.  the edible central part of a seed, nut, or fruit within the shell or stone
2.  the grain of a cereal, esp wheat, consisting of the seed in a hard husk
3.  the central or essential part of something
vb , -nels, -nelling, -nelled, -nels, -neling, -neled
4.  rare (intr) to form kernels
[Old English cyrnel a little seed, from corn seed; see corn1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. cyrnel, from P.Gmc. *kurnilo- (cf. M.H.G. kornel, M.Du. cornel), from the root of corn "seed, grain" (see corn) + -el, dim. suffix. Fig. sense of "core or central part of anything" is from 1556.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
kernel   (kûr'nəl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A grain or seed, as of a cereal grass, enclosed in a husk.

  2. The inner, usually edible seed of a nut or fruit stone.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

kernel definition

(Note: NOT "kernal").
1. The essential part of Unix or other operating systems, responsible for resource allocation, low-level hardware interfaces, security etc. See also microkernel.
2. An essential subset of a programming language, in terms of which other constructs are (or could be) defined. Also known as a core language.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
At the center of each poppy seed-size fuel particle is a uranium kernel.
Whole-wheat pasta contains the entire grain seed, usually referred to as the
As the kernel heats up, water inside it releases steam, putting more and more
  pressure on the kernel until it explodes.
Though there may be a kernel of truth, it is to miss the point.
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