AskDefine | Define tubercle

Dictionary Definition



1 a swelling that is the characteristic lesion of tuberculosis
2 small rounded wartlike protuberance on a plant [syn: nodule]
3 a protuberance on a bone especially for attachment of a muscle or ligament [syn: tuberosity, eminence]

User Contributed Dictionary



tubercle (plural tubercles)
  1. A round nodule, small eminence, or warty outgrowth found on bones especially for the attachment of a muscle or ligament. A small elevation on the surface of a tooth.
  2. A small rounded wartlike protuberance of the roots of some leguminous plants; the lip of certain orchids, cacti.
  3. A small rounded nodule forming the characteristic lesion of tuberculosis.
  4. A mass of hyphae from which a mushroom is produced.



Extensive Definition

A tubercle is generally a wart-like projection, but it has slightly different meaning depending on which family of plants or animals it is used to refer to.
In the case of certain orchids and cacti, it denotes a round nodule, small eminence, or warty outgrowth found on the lip. They are also known as podaria, which is podaria in its plural form. When referring to some members of the pea family, it is used to refer to the wart-like excrescences that are found on the roots.
When it is used in relation to certain dorid nudibranchs such as Peltodoris nobilis, it means the nodules on the dorsum of the animal.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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