—cuticular /kyooh tik"yeuh leuhr/, adj./kyooh"ti keuhl/, n.1. the nonliving epidermis that surrounds the edges of the fingernail or toenail.2. the epidermis.3. a superficial integument, membrane, or the like.4. Also called cuticula. Zool. the outer, noncellular layer of the arthropod integument, composed of a mixture of chitin and protein and commonly containing other hardening substances as well.5. Bot. a very thin hyaline film covering the surface of plants, derived from the outer surfaces of the epidermal cells.[1605-15; < L cuticula the skin, equiv. to cuti(s) skin, CUTIS + -cula -CLE1]
* * *▪ biologythe outer layer or part of an organism that comes in contact with the environment. In many invertebrates the dead, noncellular cuticle is secreted by the epidermis. This layer may, as in the arthropods, contain pigments and chitin; in humans the cuticle is the epidermis.In some higher plants, the cuticle is a water-impervious protective layer covering the epidermal cells of leaves and other parts and limiting water loss. It consists of cutin, a waxy, water-repellent substance allied to suberin, which is found in the cell walls of corky tissue. Cutin is especially noticeable on many fruits—e.g., apple, nectarine, and cherry, which can be buffed to a high gloss. carnauba wax is derived from the cuticles of the leaves of Copernicia cerifera, a Brazilian palm.
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