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
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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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