foramen ovale

noun
foramen ova·​le | \ -ō-ˈva-lē How to pronounce foramen ovale (audio) , -ˈvä-, -ˈvā- \

Definition of foramen ovale

1 : an opening in the septum between the two atria of the heart that is normally present only in the fetus During fetal life, this small tunnel, the foramen ovale, allows blood to bypass the lungs … . Yet in as many as 10 percent of people, physicians now estimate, the hole remains open, or patent.— Richard Saltus
2 : an oval opening in the greater wing of the cranial sphenoid bone for passage of a nerve supplying the mouth and jaw

Examples of foramen ovale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The best guess is that a small hole between the right and left upper chambers of his heart -- called a patent foramen ovale, or PFO -- didn’t close during his infancy. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, 13 June 2020 Doctors blame a hole in McCabe's heart — more formally called a patent foramen ovale, or PFO — as the cause of the stroke. Madeline Farber, Fox News, 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foramen ovale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of foramen ovale

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foramen ovale

New Latin, literally, oval opening

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Time Traveler for foramen ovale

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The first known use of foramen ovale was in 1677

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Dictionary Entries Near foramen ovale

foramen magnum

foramen ovale

foramina of Key and Retzius

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Cite this Entry

“Foramen ovale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foramen%20ovale. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for foramen ovale

foramen ovale

noun
foramen ova·​le | \ -ō-ˈva-(ˌ)lē How to pronounce foramen ovale (audio) , -ˈvā- How to pronounce foramen ovale (audio) , -ˈvä- How to pronounce foramen ovale (audio) \

Medical Definition of foramen ovale

1 : an opening in the septum between the two atria of the heart that is normally present only in the fetus
2 : an oval opening in the greater wing of the sphenoid for passage of the mandibular nerve

More from Merriam-Webster on foramen ovale

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about foramen ovale

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