1. [ noun ] (botany) a single whole grain of a cereal

: "a kernel of corn"

Related terms: grain corn
2. [ noun ] (botany) the inner and usually edible part of a seed or grain or nut or fruit stone
Synonyms: meat

: "black walnut kernels are difficult to get out of the shell"

Related terms: plant_part seed
3. [ noun ] the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
Synonyms: center core substance heart essence sum heart_and_soul meat pith nub marrow nitty-gritty inwardness gist

: "the gist of the prosecutor's argument" "the heart and soul of the Republican Party" "the nub of the story"

Related terms: content stuff hypostasis haecceity bare_bones quintessence summate