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

In a dish, the scientists used northern white rhinoceros sperm to fertilize the southern white rhinoceros eggs, producing hybrid embryos. Ben Guarino, Washington Post, "‘Beautiful’ embryos created from near-extinct rhinoceros sperm," 4 July 2018 For one thing, creating and implanting artificial human embryos would require regulatory clearance. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Scientists Have Created Synthetic Embryos. Here's What That Could Mean for Humans," 3 May 2018 But on the weekend of March 3-4, the cryofreezer storing those embryos had a temperature fluctuation, rendering all 4,000 of the eggs and embryos in UH's care nonviable. Ginger Christ, cleveland.com, "Patients say University Hospitals' fertility clinic betrayed their trust," 29 Mar. 2018 The science behind this is sketchy at best — daily birth control pills, hormonal IUDs, and emergency contraception all work primarily by inhibiting fertilization of an egg, not by preventing implantation of a fertilized embryo. Anna North, Vox, "Kavanaugh’s description of birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs,” explained," 7 Sep. 2018 Researchers have discovered that, contrary to longstanding assumptions, the Y chromosome is not limited to a handful of masculine tasks, like specifying male body parts in a developing embryo or replenishing the sperm supply in an adult man. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "Secrets of the Y Chromosome," 11 June 2018 Beagle and Jacobs still struggle to accept that their embryos are now gone. Alice Park, Time, "Families Are Heartbroken After Losing Embryos in IVF Clinic's Freezer Failure: "I Don't Think You Can Fix This"," 14 Mar. 2018 Thawed sperm have fertilization rates comparable to fresh sperm, and the resulting embryos develop normally into healthy juveniles. Rebecca Albright, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Taking Extreme Steps to Help Corals Survive," 1 Jan. 2018 The second embryo has a score indicating the future child likely won’t struggle. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Is It Ethical to Choose Your Baby’s Eye Color?," 2 Oct. 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

29 Dec 2018

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on embryo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with embryo

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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