• (Especially of the branches of a tree) Spreading.

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Example Sentences

“The patulous branches of the oak tree extend 10 feet from its trunk.”

“The baker spread icing from the center of the cake in a patulous, petal-like design.”

“We found shade under the patulous cover of the birch trees.”

Word Origin

Latin, early 17th century

Why this word?

“Patulous” comes from the Latin “patulus,” a derivative of “patere,” meaning “to be open.” The adjective describes the outward spread of tree branches. Patulous, radial designs — with branches or lines emanating from a center — are common in both nature and art. For example, the mandala is an artistic symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism; its patulous spirals represent the spread of the universe.

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