1. Anatomy The tissue characteristic of an organ, as distinguished from associated connective or supporting tissues.
2. Botany A simple plant tissue, composed of thin-walled cells and forming the greater part of leaves, roots, the pulp of fruit, and the pith of stems.
[New Latin, from Greek parenkhuma, visceral flesh, from parenkhein, to pour in beside : para-, beside; see PARA-1 + en-, in; see en in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + khein, to pour; see gheu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
pa·renchy·mal, par′en·chyma·tous (păr′ĕn-kĭmə-təs) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.