Definition of kernel in English:


Syllabification: ker·nel
Pronunciation: /ˈkərnl


  • 1A softer, usually edible part of a nut, seed, or fruit stone contained within its hard shell.
    More example sentences
    • What are commonly thought of as spices today are a collection of seeds, berries, flowers, fruits, kernels, roots, rhizomes, leaves, arils, barks and saps that are used in cooking and food preparation.
    • Some of you may wonder how locals manage to work the edible kernel from its black shell within seconds, while holding a conversation.
    • At the heart of the fleshy fruit, snug within its stony kernel, lies a bitter seed that is purported to hold miraculous anti-tumour properties.
  • 1.1The seed and hard husk of a cereal, especially wheat.
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    • The presence in wheat kernels of a cathepsin B gene led the search for its barley counterpart.
    • The quality of that flour is due, in large part, to the work of hundreds of different proteins that perform specialized tasks inside the wheat kernel, or grain.
    • Refined white flour is what's left after the nutrient-packed germ and bran are milled out of the wheat kernel.
  • 1.2 [in singular] The central or most important part of something: this is the kernel of the argument
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    • While all of these arguments contain a kernel of truth, close analysis shows that they are disingenuous at best and downright misleading at worst.
    • Of course, there is a kernel of truth to what he's saying.
    • The essence of fabrication about someone's political position is to take a kernel of truth and apply so much distortion as to turn it into a lie.
    essence, core, heart, essentials, quintessence, fundamentals, basics, nub, gist, substance
    informal nitty-gritty
    nucleus, germ, grain, nugget
  • 1.3The most basic level or core of an operating system of a computer, responsible for resource allocation, file management, and security.
    More example sentences
    • There is hardware support for position independent code and secure operation though privileged modes that prevent user programs from corrupting the operating system kernel.
    • In 1991, Torvalds began experimenting with a rudimentary operating system kernel.
    • The block layer is the chunk of the kernel responsible for supporting block devices.
  • 1.4 [as modifier] Linguistics Denoting a basic unmarked linguistic string.


Old English cyrnel, diminutive of corn1.

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