cuticle

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cu·ti·cle / ˈkyoōtikəl/ • n. 1. the outer layer of living tissue, in particular: ∎  Bot. & Zool. a protective and waxy or hard layer covering the epidermis of a plant, invertebrate, or shell. ∎  the outer cellular layer of a hair. ∎  Zool. another term for epidermis. 2. the dead skin at the base of a fingernail or toenail. DERIVATIVES: cu·tic·u·lar / kyoōˈtikyələr/ adj.

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cuticle
1. (in botany) The continuous waxy layer that covers the aerial parts of a plant. Composed mainly of cutin, it is secreted by the epidermis and its primary function is to prevent water loss.

2. (in zoology) A layer of horny noncellular material covering, and secreted by, the epidermis of many invertebrates. It is usually made of a collagen-like protein or of chitin and its main function is protection. In arthropods it is also strong enough to act as a skeleton (see exoskeleton) and in insects it reduces water loss. Growth is allowed by moulting of the cuticle (see ecdysis).

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cuticle
1. The impervious covering to the outer walls of the epidermal cells of aerial plant organs, composed of cutin, cutan, or a mixture of both.

2. The outer layer of an insect, secreted by epidermal cells; it has a complex structure that varies according to species. See SKELETAL MATERIAL.

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cuticle (adj. cuticular) A layer covering, and secreted by, the epidermis. In invertebrates, it is mainly protective against mechanical or (in endoparasites, see PARASITISM) chemical damage. See EXOSKELETON.

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cuticle Exposed, outer layer of an animal. In humans, this refers to the epidermis, especially the dead skin at the edge of fingers. In botany, it refers to the waxy layer on the outer surface of epidermal cells of leaves and stems of vascular plants. It helps to prevent excessive water loss.

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cuticle In plants, a thin, waxy, protective layer covering the surface of the leaves and stems. In animals, a layer covering, and secreted by, the epidermis. In invertebrates, it is mainly protective against mechanical or (in endoparasites, see parasitism) chemical damage.

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cuticle (kew-ti-kŭl) n.
1. the epidermis of the skin.

2. a layer of solid or semisolid material that is secreted by and covers an epithelium.

3. a layer of cells, such as the outer layer of cells in a hair.

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cuticle epidermis. XVII. — L. cutīcula, dim. of cutis; see CUTANEOUS.

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cuticle A thin waxy, protective layer covering the surface of the leaves and stems of plants.