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Meaning of kernel

ker•nel

Pronunciation: (kûr'nl), [key]
— n., v., -neled, -nel•ing -nelled, -nel•ling.
—n.
  1. the softer, usually edible part contained in the shell of a nut or the stone of a fruit.
  2. the body of a seed within its husk or integuments.
  3. a whole seed grain, as of wheat or corn.
  4. the pit or seed of a peach, cherry, plum, etc.
  5. the central or most important part of anything; essence; gist; core: His leadership is the kernel of the organization.
  6. the set of elements that a given function from one set to a second set maps into the identity of the second set.
  7. Also calledthe remainder of an atom after the valence electrons have been removed.
—v.t.
  1. to enclose as a kernel.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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