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

That is because, in the growing embryo, the sequence of development responsible for female nipples, which are adaptive, also leads to male nipples, which aren’t. Richard Wrangham, WSJ, "Humans: The Domesticated Primates," 10 Jan. 2019 Egg or embryo freezing is another potential option. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "How Does Endometriosis Impact Fertility?," 8 Feb. 2019 One of the most difficult aspects of timing a successful pregnancy is figuring out when the embryo should be attached to the uterine lining. Jancee Dunn, Vogue, "How California Became the World’s Fertility Treatment Destination," 13 Mar. 2019 This month, three reports were published by scientists arguing over whether researchers successfully used Crispr to edit out a single gene mutation in human embryos linked to a deadly heart disease. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Scientists Confront the Ghost of Eugenics," 17 Aug. 2018 All that successful human embryo modification has scientists around the world calling for varying levels of caution against it. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Crispr," 27 Apr. 2018 Kardashian fans might've also already known Kim was having a boy, as an insider told Us Weekly in August 2018 that her last embryo left was male. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Confirms She's Having a Boy and Hints at the Due Date," 15 Jan. 2019 Cockroach moms deposit this substance into the brood sac where their embryos are developing. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Soy milk, almond milk, oat milk. Spider milk?," 30 Nov. 2018 Imagine a situation where, during in vitro fertilization, parents could assess the polygenic risk scores of their fertilized embryos and choose ones that seem the most likely to be tall, smart, and attractive. Brian Resnick, Vox, "How scientists are trying to predict your future with your genes," 23 Aug. 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 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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Dictionary Entries near embryo

embrue

embrute

embry-

embryo

embryogenesis

embryogeny

embryoid

Statistics for embryo

Last Updated

5 May 2019

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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 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

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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