meristem

[mer-uh-stem]
noun Botany.
embryonic tissue in plants; undifferentiated, growing, actively dividing cells.

Origin:
1870–75; < Greek merist(ós) divided, distributed (equivalent to *merid-, stem of merízein to divide into parts (derivative of méris part, share) + -tos verbal adjective suffix) + -em < Greek -ēma termination of nouns denoting result of action; cf. -eme

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World English Dictionary
meristem (ˈmɛrɪˌstɛm)
 
n
a plant tissue responsible for growth, whose cells divide and differentiate to form the tissues and organs of the plant. Meristems occur within the stem (see cambium) and leaves and at the tips of stems and roots
 
[C19: from Greek meristos divided, from merizein to divide, from meris portion]
 
meristematic
 
adj

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Word Origin & History

meristem
1874, formed irregularly from Gk. meristos "divided, divisible" (from merizein "to divide, distribute," from meros "a part, a share") + ending from xylem, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
meristem   (měr'ĭ-stěm')  Pronunciation Key 
Plant tissue whose cells actively divide to form new tissues that cause the plant to grow. The originally undifferentiated cells of the meristem can produce specialized cells to form the tissues of roots, leaves, and other plant parts. The meristem includes the growing tips of roots and stems (the apical meristems) and the tissue layer known as cambium.

meristematic adjective (měr'ĭ-stə-māt'ĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
meristem [(mer-i-stem)]

The region on a plant where division of cells (and hence growth) occurs. Usually, meristems are found in the shoots and root tips, and places where branches meet the stem. In trees, growth occurs in the cambium — the layer just beneath the bark.

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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Example sentences for meristem
This meristem is responsible for the linear growth of an organ.
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