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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Corm \Corm\ (k[^o]rm), n. [See Cormus.]

  1. (Bot.) A solid bulb-shaped root, as of the crocus. See Bulb.

  2. (Biol.) Same as Cormus, 2.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1570s, from French corme, from Latin cornum "cornel-cherry" (but applied to service-berries in French); see cornel.


n. A short, vertical, swollen underground stem of a plant (usually one of the monocots) that serves as a storage organ to enable the plant to survive winter or other adverse conditions such as drought.


n. solid swollen underground bulb-shaped stem or stem base and serving as a reproductive structure


A corm, bulbo-tuber, or bulbotuber is a short, vertical, swollen underground plant stem that serves as a storage organ used by some plants to survive winter or other adverse conditions such as summer drought and heat ( perennation).

The word cormous is used to describe plants growing from corms, in analogy to the use of the terms "tuberous" and "bulbous" to describe plants growing from tubers and bulbs.

Usage examples of "corm".

The hole in the ground was under their sleeping furs and filled with the sweet and starchy vegetables, which had been gathered earlier by the small animal when the rootlike corms were at their peak.

Corm dragged his blade loose and bolstered his empty gun, drew the other.

John Terry asked for money for the new crocus corms and it was given him.

Taro corms were kept dry and twisted inside pandanus leaves until such time as they could be plunged into soft, wet mud for a new harvest.

Sedge corms had been harvested, too, and there were peeled water-lily stems and the very new, white shoots of the bulrush, to be eaten raw.

H'ani had to clean out his ears and brush it from the corms of his grey hair, and from his eyelashes.

He found a still flourishing patch of rhubarb, a few scrawny rosebushes with red hips waiting for the winter birds, a patch of iris so crowded that corms had been pushed above the surface of the ground.

It contained vegetables that had been cooked that morning: daylily buds, cut pieces of the green stems of poke, elder shoots, thistle stems, burdock stems, coiled baby ferns, and lily corms, flavored with wild basil, elderberry flowers, and pignut roots for added spice.

Every couple of hours the shaman would prepare various infusions of herbs to speed the boy's healingred alder and green hellebore with a sliced corm of a jack-in-the-pulpit.

Like most of his fellows, Corm had arrived in Salvation confident the land was empty—a vast fallow field for the Autarchy to plow with indentured labor.

Corms are common in the Iris family, which includes crocuses and gladioli.

Next minute Maggie shot round the corner with a regale lily corm plus plant in her mouth, pursued by a panting Jack and Dinsdale.