embryo

play
noun em·bryo \ˈem-brē-ˌō\

Definition of embryo

plural

embryos

  1. 1a archaic :  a vertebrate at any stage of development prior to birth or hatchingb :  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. 2 :  the young sporophyte of a seed plant usually comprising a rudimentary plant with plumule, radicle, and cotyledons

  3. 3a :  something as yet undevelopedb :  a beginning or undeveloped state of something productions seen in embryo during their out-of-town tryout period — Henry Hewes

Recent Examples of embryo from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of embryo

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

Other Embryology Terms



EMBRYO Defined for English Language Learners

embryo

play
noun

Definition of embryo for English Language Learners

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


EMBRYO Defined for Kids

embryo

play
noun em·bryo \ˈem-brē-ˌō\

Definition of embryo for Students

plural

embryos

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

  2. 2 :  a tiny young plant inside a seed


Medical Dictionary

embryo

play
noun em·bryo \ˈem-brē-ˌō\

Medical Definition of embryo

plural

embryos

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

  2. 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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