AskDefine | Define kernel

Dictionary Definition



1 the inner and usually edible part of a seed or grain or nut or fruit stone; "black walnut kernels are difficult to get out of the shell" [syn: meat]
2 a single whole grain of a cereal; "a kernel of corn"
3 the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience; "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"; "the nub of the story" [syn: substance, core, center, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, marrow, meat, nub, pith, sum, nitty-gritty] [also: kernelling, kernelled]

User Contributed Dictionary



From cyrnel, dimunitive of corn, seed


  • /ˈkɜːnəl/ (UK) or /ˈkɝnəl/ (US)
  • /"k3:n@l/ (UK) or /"k3`n@l/ (US)
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(r)nəl
  • Homophones: colonel


  1. The core, center, or essence of an object or system.
  2. A single seed or grain, especially of corn or wheat.
  3. The central part of many computer operating systems which manages the system's resources and the communication between hardware and software components.
  4. In the context of "US": The stone of certain fruits, such as peaches or plums.
  5. Those elements, in the domain of a function, which the function maps to zero.


central part of many computer operating systems
  • Czech: jádro
  • Danish: kerne
stone of certain fruits, such as peaches or plums
  • Czech: pecka
(algebra) set of elements mapped to zero
  • Czech: jádro
  • Danish: kerne

Extensive Definition

Kernel can mean:

See also

kernel in German: Kernel
kernel in Esperanto: Nukleo
kernel in Spanish: Kernel (desambiguación)
kernel in French: Noyau
kernel in Korean: 커널
kernel in Lithuanian: Branduolys
kernel in Japanese: カーネル (曖昧さ回避)
kernel in Slovak: Jadro
kernel in Chinese: 核心

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Brazil nut, acorn, almond, almond paste, amande, amande douce, amandes mondees, axiom, axis, bench mark, berry, bird seed, bitter almond, blanched almonds, burnt almond, cardinal point, center, center of action, center of gravity, centroid, centrum, chief thing, climax, core, cornerstone, crisis, critical point, crux, dead center, diameter, diaphragm, distillate, distillation, elixir, epicenter, equator, essence, essential, essential matter, fabric, flaxseed, flower, focus, fruit, fundamental, gist, goober, goober pea, grain, gravamen, great point, ground-pea, groundnut, hayseed, heart, high point, hub, hypostasis, important thing, inner essence, interior, issue, keystone, landmark, linseed, main point, main thing, marrow, material, material point, matter, mean, meat, median, medium, medulla, metacenter, middle, midmost, midriff, midst, milestone, nave, navel, nigger toe, noisette, noix, nub, nubbin, nucleus, nut, nuts and bolts, omphalos, peanut, peanut butter, pip, pit, pith, pivot, postulate, principle, quid, quiddity, quintessence, real issue, salient point, salted peanuts, sap, seed, sine qua non, soul, spirit, stone, storm center, stuff, substance, substantive point, sum and substance, sweet almond, the bottom line, the nitty-gritty, the point, thick, thick of things, turning point, umbilicus, upshot, waist, waistline, zone
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