fetus

noun
fe·​tus | \ ˈfē-təs How to pronounce fetus (audio) \

Definition of fetus

: an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind specifically : a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth — compare embryo sense 1a

Examples of fetus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The condition can limit the flow of nutrients to the fetus and cause the placenta to tear away from the uterus, putting the baby at risk of prematurity or death. Nina Martin, ProPublica, "The Extraordinary Danger of Being Pregnant and Uninsured in Texas," 8 Dec. 2019 My doctor said that my placenta (the organ that connects the mother to the fetus during pregnancy) was implanted in the wrong place. Megan Ditrolio, Marie Claire, "How I Ran My Company on Bed Rest," 14 Oct. 2019 The two vaccinations pass on antibodies to the fetus that provide protection after birth, when babies are too young to be vaccinated. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Most pregnant women aren't getting flu and whooping cough shots, CDC warns," 8 Oct. 2019 Our work suggests that fungal DNA and possibly live fungi may cross the placenta from mother to fetus as a normal part of pregnancy. Kent Willis, The Conversation, "The womb isn’t sterile – healthy babies are born with bacteria and fungi in their guts," 13 Sep. 2019 Adams said science shows that marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of teenagers and to the human fetus. Author: Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Anchorage Daily News, "‘This ain’t your mother’s marijuana,’ surgeon general says," 30 Aug. 2019 Adams said science shows that marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of teenagers and to the human fetus. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Denver Post, "Marijuana should not be used by adolescents and pregnant women, surgeon general says," 29 Aug. 2019 Adams said science shows that marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of teenagers and to the human fetus. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, chicagotribune.com, "As more states legalize marijuana, federal health officials issue warning on use by teens, pregnant women," 29 Aug. 2019 Adams said science shows that marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of teenagers and to the human fetus. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Twin Cities, "‘This ain’t your mother’s marijuana,’ surgeon general says," 29 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fetus

Middle English, from Latin, act of bearing young, offspring; akin to Latin fetus newly delivered, fruitful — more at feminine

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Time Traveler for fetus

Time Traveler

The first known use of fetus was in the 14th century

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Statistics for fetus

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fetus.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fetus. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fetus

fetus

noun
How to pronounce fetus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fetus

: a human being or animal in the later stages of development before it is born

fetus

noun
fe·​tus | \ ˈfē-təs How to pronounce fetus (audio) \

Kids Definition of fetus

: an animal not yet born or hatched but more developed than an embryo

fetus

noun
fe·​tus
variants: or chiefly British foetus \ ˈfēt-​əs How to pronounce foetus (audio) \
plural fetuses or chiefly British foetuses or foeti\ ˈfēt-​ˌī How to pronounce foeti (audio) \

Medical Definition of fetus

: an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind specifically : a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth — compare embryo

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More from Merriam-Webster on fetus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fetus

Spanish Central: Translation of fetus

Nglish: Translation of fetus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fetus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fetus

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