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epidermis

[ep-i-dur-mis] /ˌɛp ɪˈdɜr mɪs/
noun
1.
Anatomy. the outer, nonvascular, nonsensitive layer of the skin, covering the true skin or corium.
2.
Zoology. the outermost living layer of an animal, usually composed of one or more layers of cells.
3.
Botany. a thin layer of cells forming the outer integument of seed plants and ferns.
Origin
1620-1630
1620-30; < Late Latin: surface skin < Greek epidermís upper skin. See epi-, derma
Related forms
epidermal, epidermic, adjective
epidermically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for epidermal
  • Under the scab, epidermal cells are migrating into the wound to close it up.
  • Or maybe you're not, and it would be deeply selfish for your boyfriend to insist on maintaining his epidermal integrity.
  • Her thesis research was on the ecophysiology of epidermal lipids and water homeostasis in house sparrows.
  • In the case of brain cancer, the primary growth factor involved is epidermal growth factor.
  • Mutations in the gene regulating epidermal-growth-factor receptors is one lung-cancer trigger.
British Dictionary definitions for epidermal

epidermis

/ˌɛpɪˈdɜːmɪs/
noun
1.
Also called cuticle. the thin protective outer layer of the skin, composed of stratified epithelial tissue
2.
the outer layer of cells of an invertebrate
3.
the outer protective layer of cells of a plant, which may be thickened by a cuticle
Derived Forms
epidermal, epidermic, epidermoid, adjective
Word Origin
C17: via Late Latin from Greek, from epi- + derma skin
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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Word Origin and History for epidermal

epidermis

n.

1620s, from Greek epidermis, from epi "on" (see epi-) + derma "skin" (see derma). Related: Epidermal; epidermic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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epidermal in Medicine

epidermis ep·i·der·mis (ěp'ĭ-dûr'mĭs)
n.
The nonvascular outer protective layer of the skin, covering the dermis.


ep'i·der'mal (-məl) or ep'i·der'mic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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epidermal in Science
epidermis
  (ěp'ĭ-dûr'mĭs)   
  1. The protective outer layer of the skin. In invertebrate animals, the epidermis is made up of a single layer of cells. In vertebrates, it is made up of many layers of cells and overlies the dermis. Hair and feathers grow from the epidermis.

  2. The outer layer of cells of the stems, roots, and leaves of plants. In most plants, the epidermis is a single layer of cells set close together to protect the plant from water loss, invasion by fungi, and physical damage. The epidermis that is exposed to air is covered with a protective substance called cuticle. See more at photosynthesis.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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epidermal in Culture
epidermis [(ep-uh-dur-mis)]

The outside layers of the skin.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for epidermal

epidermis

in zoology, protective outermost portion of the skin. There are two layers of epidermis, the living basal layer, which is next to the dermis, and the external stratum corneum, or horny layer, which is composed of dead, keratin-filled cells that have migrated outward from the basal layer. The melanocytes, responsible for skin colour, are found in the basal cells. The epidermis has no blood supply and depends on diffusion from the dermal cells for its metabolic needs. The dead-cell layer of the stratum corneum provides the protection from water loss that allows vertebrates to dwell on land. Keratin, produced in migrating epidermal cells, forms the basis of nails, feathers, beaks, and other epidermal derivatives. In humans, epidermal fragments are constantly shed, but the "skin," or stratum corneum, of a snake is ordinarily shed all at once in a period of ecdysis.

Learn more about epidermis with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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