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[ap-uh-thee-shee-uh m, -see-] /ˌæp əˈθi ʃi əm, -si-/
noun, plural apothecia
[ap-uh-thee-shee-uh, -see-uh] /ˌæp əˈθi ʃi ə, -si ə/ (Show IPA).
Botany, Mycology
the fruit of certain lichens and fungi: usually an open, saucer-shaped or cup-shaped body, the inner surface of which is covered with a layer that bears asci.
1820-30; < New Latin < Greek apo- apo- + thēkíon, equivalent to thḗk(ē) case (see theca) + -ion diminutive suffix
Related forms
[ap-uh-thee-shuh l] /ˌæp əˈθi ʃəl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for apothecium
  • The top of the apothecium is exposed above ground, the length of its stem varying with the depth at which the mummy is buried.
British Dictionary definitions for apothecium


noun (pl) -cia (-sɪə)
(botany) a cup-shaped structure that contains the asci, esp in lichens; a type of ascocarp
Derived Forms
apothecial (ˌæpəˈθiːsɪəl) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from apo- + Greek thēkion a little case
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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apothecium in Science
  (āp'ə-thē'sē-əm, -shē-)   
Plural apothecia (āp'ə-thē'sē-ə, -shē-)
A disk-shaped or cup-shaped ascocarp of some lichens and the fungi Ascomycetes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for apothecium

fruiting structure of fungi of the phylum Ascomycota (kingdom Fungi). It arises from vegetative filaments (hyphae) after sexual reproduction has been initiated. The ascocarp (in forms called apothecium, cleistothecium [cleistocarp], or perithecium) contain saclike structures (asci) that usually bear four to eight ascospores. Apothecia are stalked and either disklike, saucer-shaped, or cup-shaped with exposed asci. The largest known apothecium, produced by Geopyxis cacabus, has a stalk 1 metre (40 inches) high and a cup 50 centimetres (20 inches) across. Cleistothecia are spherical and must rupture or disintegrate to release their ascospores. Perithecia are globular or flask-shaped with an apical opening for discharge of ascospores.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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