fe·​tal | \ˈfē-tᵊl \

Definition of fetal 

: of, relating to, or being a fetus

Examples of fetal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The idea is that autism is caused by fetal exposure to higher than normal levels of male hormones, such as testosterone. Maia Szalavitz, Scientific American, "Autism—It's Different in Girls," 1 Mar. 2016 Nobody disputes the value of intrauterine fetal surgery, which involves cutting a woman to repair a defect in the unborn child. Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post, "This fertility doctor is pushing the boundaries of human reproduction, with little regulation," 14 May 2018 The era of open fetal surgery was still fairly new. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Some people do better exercising at a low-intensity pace," 29 Apr. 2018 For example, the state of Iowa recently passed a law that would ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which typically takes place at or around the sixth week of pregnancy. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "These States Will Likely Ban Abortion if the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade," 10 July 2018 Around three in four people said the same in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities. Jill Lawless, BostonGlobe.com, "Events mark centenary of women’s vote in UK," 10 June 2018 About three in four people said the same in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "The U.K.’s top court says Northern Ireland’s abortion ban violates human rights," 7 June 2018 The items are part of the $200 billion round of import taxes that broadened trade hostilities that began July 6 with a U.S. list targeting $34 billion in trade including flamethrowers, fetal bovine serum and blood. Dave Mccombs And Andrew Hobbs, chicagotribune.com, "Badger hair, bull semen, MSG among products on Trump's China tariff list," 11 July 2018 Pennsylvania state law allows for women to seek abortions before fetal viability, generally considered about 24 weeks. Anna Orso, Philly.com, "What would it really take for abortion to be illegal in Pa., N.J.?," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fetal.' 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 fetal

1811, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for fetal

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for fetal

The first known use of fetal was in 1811

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English Language Learners Definition of fetal

: of or relating to a developing animal or human being that is not yet born : of or relating to a fetus


variants: or chiefly British foetal \ ˈfēt-​ᵊl \

Medical Definition of fetal 

: of, relating to, or being a fetus

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