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kernel

Syllabification: ker·nel
Pronunciation: /ˈkərnl
 
/

Definition of kernel in English:

noun

1A softer, usually edible part of a nut, seed, or fruit stone contained within its hard shell.
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.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
Synonyms
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.
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.

Origin

Old English cyrnel, diminutive of corn1.

More
  • corn from (Old English):

    Corn, meaning ‘the seed of wheat and similar plants’, is an Old English word whose root may date back as far as farming itself. The modern sense of corny is a development of an earlier sense, dating from the 1930s, that described something, especially music, of a simple and unsophisticated type that appealed to people living in the country. Kernel (Old English) is based on corn and was originally a ‘little corn or seed’. The other kind of corn (Late Middle English), the small area of thickened horn-like skin on your foot, comes from Latin cornu ‘horn’. Cornu, which could also mean ‘tip’ or ‘corner’, is the source too of corner (Middle English)—you can think of a corner as the part of something that sticks out or forms the tip.

    The trumpet-like cornet (Late Middle English) is now made from brass, but it was originally a wind instrument made out of a horn, and Latin cornu is again the source. The early 20th century ice-cream cornet gets its name because it resembles that of the instrument. One brand of ice cream is called a Cornetto (‘little horn’), and this Italian word was also the name of an old musical instrument, a straight or curved wooden wind instrument with finger holes and a cup-shaped mouthpiece. See also horn

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