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Pronunciation: ep'i-derm'is, -derm'i-dez


  1. The superficial epithelial portion of the skin (cutis). The thick epidermis of the palms and soles contains the following strata, from the surface: stratum corneum (keratin layer), stratum lucidum (clear layer), stratum granulosum (granular layer), stratum spinosum (prickle cell layer), and stratum basale (basal cell layer); in other parts of the body, the stratum lucidum and stratum granulosum may be absent.
  2. In botany, the outermost layer of cells in leaves and the young parts of plants.

Synonym(s): cuticle3, cuticula2, epiderm, epiderma

[G. epidermis, the outer skin, fr. epi, on, + derma, skin]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.