• WordNet 3.6
    • n gemmule the physically discrete element that Darwin proposed as responsible for heredity
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Gemmule (Biol) A bud produced in generation by gemmation.
    • Gemmule (Bot) A little leaf bud, as the plumule between the cotyledons.
    • Gemmule (Bot) An ovule.
    • Gemmule (Bot) One of the buds of mosses.
    • Gemmule (Biol) One of the imaginary granules or atoms which, according to Darwin's hypothesis of pangenesis, are continually being thrown off from every cell or unit, and circulate freely throughout the system, and when supplied with proper nutriment multiply by self-division and ultimately develop into cells like those from which they were derived. They are supposed to be transmitted from the parent to the offspring, but are often transmitted in a dormant state during many generations and are then developed. See Pangenesis.
    • Gemmule (Bot) One of the reproductive spores of algæ.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n gemmule In botany: A small bud or gemma.
    • n gemmule The plumule.
    • n gemmule An ovule.
    • n gemmule In zoology, a little bud; a small gemma. Specifically— A germinal mass of spores of some low animals, as sponges.
    • n gemmule In biology, one of the hypothetical living units conceived by Darwin as the bearers of the hereditary attributes of animals and plants.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Gemmule a little gem or leaf-bud
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. gemmula, dim. of gemma,: cf. F. gemmule,. See Gem
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. gemmāre, -ātum.


In literature:

It seems to me more probable that the gemmules affect the ovaria alone.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin" by Charles Darwin
Gemmules, in reproductive organs.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II" by Charles Darwin
It is supposed that fecundation is chiefly necessary to give to the gemmules the requisite amount of nourishment to insure development.
"Plain Facts for Old and Young" by John Harvey Kellogg
Every gemmule may multiply itself by a process of scission into any number of equivalent gemmules.
"On the Genesis of Species" by St. George Mivart
The direct evidence tends to show that these free gemmules do not exist.
"Are the Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited?" by William Platt Ball
Pure gemmules in combination with hybridised gemmules would lead to partial reversion.
"The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2)" by Charles Darwin
Gemmule-spicules, which form a characteristic feature of the Spongillidae, are very seldom absent when the gemmules are mature.
"Freshwater Sponges, Hydroids & Polyzoa" by Nelson Annandale
GEMMULES, sexual selection of, i.
"The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex" by Charles Darwin
Thus, they correspond to Herbert Spencer's physiological units, Darwin's gemmules, De Vries' pangenes, and Hertwig's idioblasts.
"The Biological Problem of To-day" by Oscar Hertwig
Gemmules, 47, 145, 155.
"Darwin, and After Darwin, Volume II (of 3)" by George John Romanes