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[rad-i-kuh l] /ˈræd ɪ kəl/
  1. the lower part of the axis of an embryo; the primary root.
  2. a rudimentary root; radicel or rootlet.
Chemistry. (formerly) radical (def 12).
Anatomy. a small rootlike part or structure, as the beginning of a nerve or vein.
Origin of radicle
1665-75; < Latin rādīcula small root, equivalent to rādīc- (stem of rādīx) root1 + -ula -ule Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for radicle
  • It is through one of these that the radicle emerges when the embryo germinates.
  • Beginning of seed imbibition, bean swollen, whitish, no radicle visible.
British Dictionary definitions for radicle


  1. part of the embryo of seed-bearing plants that develops into the main root
  2. a very small root or rootlike part
(anatomy) any bodily structure resembling a rootlet, esp one of the smallest branches of a vein or nerve
(chem) a variant spelling of radical (sense 11)
Word Origin
C18: from Latin rādīcula a little root, from rādīx root
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 radicle

1670s, in botany, from Latin radicula, diminutive of radix (see radish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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radicle in Medicine

radicle rad·i·cle (rād'ĭ-kəl)
A small structure, such as a fibril of a nerve, that resembles a root.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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radicle in Science
  1. The part of a plant embryo that develops into a root. In most seeds, the radicle is the first structure to emerge on germination.

  2. A small anatomical structure, such as a fibril of a nerve, that resembles a root.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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