Botany. the slender stalk by which a leaf is attached to the stem; leafstalk. See diag. under leaf.
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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World English Dictionary
petiole (ˈpɛtɪˌəʊl)
1.  the stalk by which a leaf is attached to the rest of the plant
2.  zoology a slender stalk or stem, such as the connection between the thorax and abdomen of ants
[C18: via French from Latin petiolus little foot, from pēs foot]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"footstalk of a leaf," 1753, from Fr. pétiole, from Mod.L. petiolus, misspelling of peciolus "stalk, stem," lit. "little foot," dim. of pediculus "foot stalk," itself a dim. of pes (gen. pedis) "foot" (see foot).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
petiole   (pět'ē-ōl')  Pronunciation Key 
See leafstalk.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
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.
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