embryo

noun
em·​bryo | \ ˈem-brē-ˌō How to pronounce embryo (audio) \
plural embryos

Definition of embryo

1a : 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
b archaic : a vertebrate at any stage of development prior to birth or hatching
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 In the 1990s a deaf couple wanted to select an embryo for future deafness, which raised new ethical questions. Kiona N. Smith, Forbes, "Monday’s Google Doodle Celebrates Biologist Anne McLaren," 26 Apr. 2021 Colburn is serving as the Tauers' gestational carrier, a surrogate mother who had Chancey's embryo implanted into her uterus. Star Tribune, "Love and basketball, and baby too: St. Thomas coach Johnny Tauer's family story is tough to top," 24 Apr. 2021 In the penultimate episode, the embryo is implanted in Chema's childhood friend and surrogate, Clara's, uterus. Quinci Legardye, Marie Claire, "The Ending of 'Who Killed Sara?', Explained," 6 Apr. 2021 Dally’s program represents the cutting edge of Valais Blacknose insemination and embryo transfers. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "March comes in like an adorable lamb at Arlyn Vineyard," 6 Mar. 2021 Each contains an outside layer of cells that eventually helps generate the placenta and an internal mass of cells that gives rise to the embryo itself. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "New models could help scientists study the earliest stages of embryonic development," 19 Mar. 2021 These balls, called blastocysts, form a few days after an egg has been fertilized but before the cells attach to the uterus to become an embryo. NBC News, "Scientists say they've peeked into the 'black box' of early human development," 17 Mar. 2021 These balls, called blastocysts, form a few days after an egg has been fertilized but before the cells attach to the uterus to become an embryo. Christina Larson, Anchorage Daily News, "Scientists use human cells to make structures that mimic earliest stages of development," 17 Mar. 2021 If people like Lee and George really thought every embryo was a person, they’d be staggered by the loss of, by Zimmer’s calculations, over 100 million pregnancies every year. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Struggle to Define Life," 12 Mar. 2021

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 1b

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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Statistics for embryo

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Embryo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embryo. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce embryo (audio) \
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 How to pronounce embryo (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on embryo

Nglish: Translation of embryo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embryo for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about embryo

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