from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small, specialized club-shaped structure typically bearing four basidiospores at the tips of minute projections. The basidium is unique to basidiomycetes and distinguishes them from other kinds of fungi.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small structure, shaped like a club, found in the Basidiomycota division of fungi, that bears four spores at the tips of small projections.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A special oblong or pyriform cell, with slender branches, which bears the spores in that division of fungi called Basidiomycetes, of which the common mushroom is an example.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In botany, an enlarged cell in basidiomycetous fungi, arising from the hymenium, and producing by abstriction spores borne upon slender projections at its summit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small club-shaped structure typically bearing four basidiospores at the ends of minute projections; unique to basidiomycetes


bas(i)- + Latin -idium, diminutive suff. (from Greek -idion).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • "The heads of shaggy-cap mushrooms poked whitely through the mold beneath the ferns. Jamie's blunt forefinger flipped one off its stem, and traced the spokes of the basidium as he marshaled his next words."
    —Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (NY: Delacorte Press, 1991), 320

    January 2, 2010