Share this entry
pistil Line breaks: pis¦til
Pronunciation: /ˈpɪstɪl/

Definition of pistil in English:


The female organs of a flower, comprising the stigma, style, and ovary.
Example sentences
  • Five pistils were dissected from flowers and the stigmas and styles were mounted on aluminium stubs using carbon paste.
  • Most of the flowers have a pistil longer than the anthers.
  • In addition, there was a negative correlation between the number of stamens and the number of pistils within female flowers.


Early 18th century: from French pistile or Latin pistillum 'pestle'.

  • piston from early 18th century:

    The Latin pistullum meant pestle (Middle English) and is the source of the botanical pistil (early 18th century) from its similar shape. From the same source Italian formed pestone for a large pestle or rammer, and this, via French, is the source of piston.

Words that rhyme with pistil

quintile • postil • tormentil
Definition of pistil in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources