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1. A small gemma or similar structure, especially a reproductive structure in certain sponges that remains dormant for some time and later develops into a new individual.
2. A hypothetical particle in the theory of pangenesis, postulated to be produced by cells and to be responsible for transmitting traits from parent to offspring.

[French, from Latin gemmula, diminutive of gemma, bud; see gembh- in Indo-European roots.]

gem′mu·lif′er·ous (jĕm′yo͞o-lĭf′ər-əs) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.