ec·​top·​ic ek-ˈtä-pik How to pronounce ectopic (audio)
: occurring in an abnormal position or in an unusual manner or form
ectopic lesions
ectopically adverb

Examples of ectopic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During the 2023 legislative session, state lawmakers carved out exceptions for ectopic and molar pregnancies — complications that guarantee a pregnancy will not be viable. Nicole Blanchard, Idaho Statesman, 24 Apr. 2024 Similarly, what happens when there are complications from a wanted pregnancy that needs to be terminated (e.g., ectopic, molar, or otherwise nonviable pregnancies) after six weeks? Brynn Tannehill, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 The governor signed a new bill in April that provides exemptions for ectopic and other nonviable pregnancies and allows abortions if a woman’s life is at risk. Currie Engel, Women's Health, 22 June 2023 About 1 in every 30,000 pregnancies are ectopic, Mayo Clinic states. Vanessa Etienne, Peoplemag, 5 Oct. 2022 This situation can also arise when treating ectopic pregnancies; in some edge cases, the fetus can grow to the point where cardiac activity is detected. Wired, 7 Aug. 2022 Methotrexate is a drug that treats ectopic pregnancies without surgery. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 12 July 2022 But doctors also worry other forms of reproductive care, like treating ectopic pregnancies, could be targeted. Lindsay Whitehurst and Lindsey Tanner, Anchorage Daily News, 24 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ectopic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Greek ektopos out of place, from ex- out + topos place

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ectopic was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near ectopic

Cite this Entry

“Ectopic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


ec·​top·​ic ek-ˈtäp-ik How to pronounce ectopic (audio)
: occurring in an abnormal position
an ectopic kidney
compare entopic
: originating in an area of the heart other than the sinoatrial node
ectopic beats
also : initiating ectopic heartbeats
an ectopic pacemaker
ectopically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on ectopic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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