From Middle English kernel, kirnel, kürnel, from Old English cyrnel, from Proto-Germanic *kurnilaz, diminutive of *kurną (“seed, grain, corn”), equivalent to corn + -le. Cognate with Middle Dutch kernel, cornel, Middle High German kornel. Related also to Old Norse kjarni (“kernel”).
kernel (plural kernels)
- The core, center, or essence of an object or system.
- the kernel of an argument
- The central (usually edible) part of a nut, especially once the hard shell has been removed.
- A single seed or grain, especially of corn or wheat.
- (US) The stone of certain fruits, such as peaches or plums.
- A small mass around which other matter is concreted; a nucleus; a concretion or hard lump in the flesh.
- (computing) The central part of many computer operating systems which manages the system's resources and the communication between hardware and software components.
- (calculus) A function used to define an integral transform.
- The Dirichlet kernel convolved with a function yields its Fourier series approximation.
- (mathematics) A set of pairs of a mapping's domain which are mapped to the same value.
- (mathematics, algebra) Those elements, in the domain of a function, which the function maps to zero.
- If a function is continuous then its kernel is a closed set.
- (mathematics, fuzzy set theory) The set of members of a fuzzy set that are fully included (i.e., whose grade of membership is 1).
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