Definitions

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

  • n. The outer, protective, nonvascular layer of the skin of vertebrates, covering the dermis.
  • n. An integument or outer layer of various invertebrates.
  • n. The outermost layer of cells covering the leaves and young parts of a plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The outer, protective layer of the skin of vertebrates, covering the dermis
  • n. The similar outer layer of cells in invertebrates and plants

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The outer, nonsensitive layer of the skin; cuticle; scarfskin. See dermis.
  • n. The outermost layer of the cells, which covers both surfaces of leaves, and also the surface of stems, when they are first formed. As stems grow old this layer is lost, and never replaced.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy, the cuticle or scarfskin; the non-vascular outer layer of the skin.
  • n. In zoology, broadly, some or any outermost integument or tegumentary covering or envelop of the body, or some part of the body: a term nearly synonymous with exoskeleton.
  • n. In embryology, the outermost blastodermic membrane; the ectoderm or epiblast, which will in due course become an epidermis proper.
  • n. In conchology, specifically, the rind or peel covering the shell of a mollusk; the external animal integument of the shell, as distinguished from the shell-substance proper: commonly found as a tough, fibrous, or stringy dark-colored bark, which readily peels off in shreds.
  • n. In botany, the outer layer or layers of cells covering the surfaces of plants.
  • n. Also epiderm.

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

  • n. the outer layer of the skin covering the exterior body surface of vertebrates

Etymologies

Late Latin, from Greek : epi-, epi- + derma, skin; see der- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin epidermis, from Ancient Greek ἐπιδερμίς (epidermis) (ἐπί, on top of) + dermis (< δέρμα(derma), skin) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The outside bark, or _epidermis_, consists of a thin, transparent, tissue-like substance, which covers not only the bark, but the whole of the tree, stem, leaves and branches, and beneath the epidermis is found

    Among the Trees at Elmridge

  • It bores through your obviously thin epidermis and exposes you and others here that bought into the lies.

    Think Progress » Will Sarah Palin call on Rush Limbaugh to apologize for saying liberal activists are ‘retards’?

  • A portion of presumptive neural plate was removed from an embryo Triton taeniatus at the beginning of gastrulation and exchanged with a portion of presumptive epidermis from a Triton cristatus embryo of the same age.

    Hans Spemann - Nobel Lecture

  • Melanocytes are cells found in the lower part of the outer layer of skin called the epidermis.

    Malignant Melanoma: The Silent Killer

  • Once you allow the sensation of spirit to push through there, you will discover that beyond the epidermis is a wider sheath of force that surrounds us.

    Manifesting Michelangelo

  • The cells appeared to grow into all the strata of the outermost layer of natural skin, called the epidermis, creating a stronger and potentially more effective solution for patients than skins with just a single stratum of epidermal cells.

    Closing In on the Formula for Artificial Skin

  • There is the outer layer known as the epidermis, the dermis in the middle and the inner hypodermis.

    Numbers to know about the skin you're in

  • The epidermis is a formidable barrier that keeps good things in the skin and bad things out.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • Stomata are tiny plant structures found on the outer skin layer, also known as the epidermis, of plants (Figure 1).

    Stomata

  • GUPTA: Well, you know, it's interesting so -- these are all names, squamous cell, basal cell and melanoma, based on where they are located in the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin.

    CNN Transcript Dec 18, 2006

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