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[pet-ee-ohl] /ˈpɛt iˌoʊl/
Botany. the slender stalk by which a leaf is attached to the stem; leafstalk.
Zoology. a stalk or peduncle, as that connecting the abdomen and thorax in wasps.
1745-55; < Neo-Latin petiolus leafstalk, special use of Latin petiolus, scribal variant of peciolus, probably for *pediciolus, diminutive of pediculus pedicle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for petiole
  • Every year the plant produces one leaf stock, or petiole, which has a leaf blade at the top.
  • The leaves attach to branches via a long and flattened petiole, so that even the slightest breeze causes the leaves to flutter.
  • We estimated plant nutrient status and uptake each year with whole-plant and petiole samplings during tuber growth.
  • They are based primarily on petiole color, frequency of defects, and appearance.
  • Leaf blades extend down the petiole and along the stem to form long, prickly wings.
  • The leaf blades are alternately arranged on the stem and are subsessile or attached to the stem by a short petiole.
British Dictionary definitions for petiole


the stalk by which a leaf is attached to the rest of the plant
(zoology) a slender stalk or stem, such as the connection between the thorax and abdomen of ants
Word Origin
C18: via French from Latin petiolus little foot, from pēs foot
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 petiole

"footstalk of a leaf," 1753, from French pétiole (18c.), from Late Latin petiolus, misspelling of peciolus "stalk, stem," literally "little foot," diminutive of pediculus "foot stalk," itself a diminutive of pes (genitive pedis) "foot" (see foot (n.)). Given its modern sense by Linnaeus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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petiole in Medicine

petiole pet·i·ole (pět'ē-ōl')
A stem or pedicle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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petiole in Science
See leafstalk.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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