kernel (

     n 1: the inner and usually edible part of a seed or grain or nut
          or fruit stone: "black walnut kernels are difficult to
          get out of the shell" [syn: meat]
     2: a single whole grain of a cereal: "a kernel of corn"
     3: the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some
        idea or experience: "the gist of the prosecutor's
        argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party";
        "the nub of the story" [syn: substance, core, center,
         essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness,
         marrow, meat, nub, pith, sum, nitty-gritty]