embryo

noun
em·​bryo | \ˈem-brē-ˌō \
plural embryos

Definition of embryo 

1a archaic : a vertebrate at any stage of development prior to birth or hatching

b : an animal in the early stages of growth and differentiation that are characterized by cleavage, the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems especially : the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception

2 : the young sporophyte of a seed plant usually comprising a rudimentary plant with plumule, radicle, and cotyledons

3a : something as yet undeveloped

b : a beginning or undeveloped state of something productions seen in embryo during their out-of-town tryout period— Henry Hewes

Examples of embryo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

More controversially, researchers there have repaired a disease-causing gene in early human embryos with CRISPR, though the embryos were not allowed to develop. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Gene edited monkeys offer hope for heart disease patients," 9 July 2018 There, the embryos find a nipple and actually attach to it. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "For the Fourth, bring out the (San Diego Zoo) babies!," 3 July 2018 These bits of frog DNA could have all kinds of negative effects on the developing embryo. Darren Griffin, Scientific American, "Jurassic World: Can We Really Resurrect a Dinosaur?," 6 June 2018 And then at some point, the embryo starts to generate organs, tissue, skin, the brain, and muscle. Megan Thielking, STAT, "Scientists capture how a single cell develops into an embryo," 26 Apr. 2018 The rhino egg would then be combined with sperm to form an embryo, which would be implanted in a surrogate. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "Can the Northern White Rhino Be Brought Back From the Brink of Extinction?," 22 May 2018 Currently, doctors don't have access to the embryo after fertilization, and have no way to treat potential problems. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "This Artificial Embryo Actually Started Pregnancy In Mice," 5 May 2018 The fertilized egg, or embryo, is implanted in the woman's uterus. Ginger Christ And Julie Washington, cleveland.com, "Tours of Ohio fertility clinics show procedures in place to safeguard eggs, embryos (photos, videos)," 25 Mar. 2018 Even though more than 5 million babies have been born thanks to IVF since the '70s, egg and embryo freezing is by no means a sure path to parenthood. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "What Keeps Egg-Freezing Operations From Failing?," 13 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embryo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of embryo

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for embryo

Medieval Latin embryon-, embryo, from Greek embryon, from en- + bryein to swell; akin to Greek bryon catkin

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Dictionary Entries near embryo

embrue

embrute

embry-

embryo

embryogenesis

embryogeny

embryoid

Statistics for embryo

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embryo

The first known use of embryo was in 1548

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More Definitions for embryo

embryo

noun

English Language Learners Definition of embryo

: a human or animal in the early stages of development before it is born, hatched, etc.

embryo

noun
em·​bryo | \ˈem-brē-ˌō \
plural embryos

Kids Definition of embryo

1 : an unborn human or animal in the earliest stages of growth when its basic structures are being formed

2 : a tiny young plant inside a seed

embryo

noun
em·​bryo | \ˈem-brē-ˌō \
plural embryos

Medical Definition of embryo 

1 archaic : a vertebrate at any stage of development prior to birth or hatching

2 : an animal in the early stages of growth and differentiation that are characterized by cleavage, the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems especially : the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception — compare fetus

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