cone / kōn/ • n. 1. a solid or hollow object that tapers from a circular or roughly circular base to a point. ∎ Math. a surface or solid figure generated by the straight lines that pass from a circle or other closed curve to a single point (the vertex) not in the same plane as the curve. A cone with the vertex perpendicularly over the center of a circular base is a right circular cone. ∎ (also traffic cone) a plastic cone-shaped object that is used to separate off or close sections of a road. ∎ an edible wafer container shaped like a cone in which ice cream is served. ∎ a conical mountain or peak, esp. one of volcanic origin. ∎ (also pyrometric cone) a ceramic pyramid that melts at a known temperature and is used to indicate the temperature of a kiln. 2. the dry fruit of a conifer, typically tapering to a rounded end and formed of a tight array of overlapping scales on a central axis that separate to release the seeds. ∎ a flower resembling a pine cone, esp. that of the hop plant. 3. Anat. a light-sensitive cell of one of the two types present in the retina of the eye, responding mainly to bright light and responsible for sharpness of vision and color perception. Compare with rod (sense 5).
CONE , U.S. commercial and philanthropic family. herman cone (1828–97), the father of 13 children, emigrated from Bavaria to the U.S. in 1845 and ultimately established a successful wholesale grocery business in Baltimore. His two eldest sons, moses herman (1857–1908) and caesar (1859–1917), began their careers as salesmen. During their travels through the South the two brothers were struck by the unstandardized goods and disorganized marketing methods of Southern cotton mills. In 1891 they founded the Cone Export and Commission Company, with a main office in New York, which served both as a banker and distributor for the Southern textile industry. The company helped the industry both to standardize and variegate its products and to free itself of its costly dependence on Northern finishers and distributors. During the financial panic of 1893 it saved many mills from bankruptcy. Moses and Caesar Cone established a mill of their own in Asheville, North Carolina (1892), and soon after founded three more mills in Greensboro, North Carolina. Within a few years they had joined the world's leading producers of flannels and denims and controlled 3% of the entire cotton industry of the South. Both Cone brothers became active in community affairs in Greensboro. They helped found schools and a ymca, and Moses left a large part of his estate for the construction of a hospital named after him. Caesar was vice president of the American Cotton Manufacturers Association and held important local and state philanthropic positions. After his death ownership of the Cone mills passed to his son herman. claribel (1864–1929), sister of Caesar and Moses Cone, studied medicine at Johns Hopkins University and was later professor of pathology at Women's Medical College in Baltimore. Together with her sister etta, she built up a large collection of French impressionist and post-impressionist painting, which is now housed in the Cone Wing of the Baltimore Museum of Art.
dab; Cone Export and Commission Co., Half Century Book (1941); New York Times (March 3, 1917), 9–15 (obituary).
1. (in botany) A reproductive structure occurring in gymnosperms, known technically as a strobilus. It consists of sporophylls bearing the spore-producing sporangia. Gymnosperms produce different male and female cones. The large woody female cones of pines, firs, and other conifers are made up of structures called ovuliferous scales, which bear the ovules. Cones are also produced by clubmosses and horsetails.
2. (in animal anatomy) A type of light-sensitive receptor cell, found in the retinas of all diurnal vertebrates. Cones are specialized to transmit information about colour (see colour vision) and are responsible for the visual acuity of the eye. They function best in bright light. They are not evenly distributed on the retina, being concentrated in the fovea and absent on the margin of the retina. Compare rod.
con·ic / ˈkänik/ chiefly Math. • adj. of or like a cone. • n. short for conic section. See also conics.
So conic, -ical XVI. — modL. cōnicus — Gr. kōnikós.