Definition of plumule in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈplo͞omyo͞ol/


1 Botany The rudimentary shoot or stem of an embryo plant.
Example sentences
  • The embryo epidermis, the plumule and the radicle tissues were never probed.
  • Radicles or plumules were excised from the embryos and similarly incubated.
2 Ornithology A bird’s down feather, numbers of which form an insulating layer under the contour feathers.
Example sentences
  • The second group includes down feathers, or plumules, which are softer and shorter than contour feathers.
  • Geese are larger than ducks so their down plumules are larger and typically geese from colder climates such as central and northern Europe have the largest plumules.


Early 18th century: from French plumule or Latin plumula 'small feather', diminutive of pluma 'down'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: plu·mule

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