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Borrowed from Latin integumentum (a covering).



integument (plural integuments)

  1. A shell or other outer protective layer.
    • 1911, James George Frazer, The Golden Bough, volume 11, page 207:
      The power of turning into an animal has this serious disadvantage that it lays you open to the chance of being wounded or even slain in your animal skin before you have the chance to put it off and scramble back into your human integument.
    • 2022, China Miéville, chapter 6, in A Spectre, Haunting: On the Communist Manifesto, →OCLC:
      [] if we're moved by the book's condemnation of a world wounded by exploitation, where the drive for profit hobbles the mass of humanity, bolsters vast integuments of oppression and repression, []
  2. (biology) An outer protective covering such as the feathers or skin of an animal, a rind or shell.
    • 1984, Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous:
      Sarsem became a naked young epicene in an integument of lavender scales with puffs of purple hair like pom-poms growing down his back.
  3. (botany) The outer layer of an ovule, which develops into the seed coat.
    • 1920, D.H. Lawrence, chapter 1, in Women in Love:
      Her active living was suspended, but underneath, in the darkness, something was coming to pass. If only she could break through the last integuments!

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Borrowed from French integumentum, from Latin integumentum.


integument n (plural integumente)

  1. integument