\ in-ˈyü-tə-ˌrō How to pronounce in utero (audio) \

Definition of in utero

: in the uterus : before birth a disease acquired in utero an in utero diagnosis

Examples of in utero in a Sentence

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Normally fetal hemoglobin, which provides the developing fetus with oxygen via the blood while in utero, is shut off about six months after birth, and genes for adult hemoglobin are turned on. Time, "CRISPR Gene Editing Is Being Tested in Human Patients, and the Results Could Revolutionize Health Care," 6 Aug. 2019 Even in utero, a mom's chronic stress can affect baby's stress-hormone levels. Olivia Campbell, Good Housekeeping, "I've Struggled With Depression, So I Can't Always Be The "Happy" Mom," 8 July 2019 During the outbreak in Brazil, which spread through North and South America, Zika spurred widespread concern that babies exposed to the virus in utero would be born with devastating and long-lasting birth defects. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "One-third of toddlers exposed to Zika in the womb suffer developmental problems, study says," 8 July 2019 Doctors performed the in utero surgery by making a small c-section-like incision. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Cleveland Clinic performs its first fetal surgery to repair spina bifida," 20 June 2019 But then researchers started identifying them in human blood and tissue, and even newborns showed evidence of exposure in utero. Gabriel Filippelli, Quartz, "A geochemist’s simple tricks to reduce dust in your home," 20 June 2019 In the world of medicine, in utero fetal surgery for the spina bifida defect is still relatively new. Ginger Christ, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Clinic makes strategic move into prenatal care, performs first in utero fetal surgery," 24 June 2019 Rebrikov plans to disable the gene, which encodes a protein that allows HIV to enter cells, in embryos that will be implanted into HIV-positive mothers, reducing the risk of them passing on the virus to the baby in utero. David Cyranoski, Scientific American, "Russian Biologist Plans More CRISPR-Edited Babies," 11 June 2019 Seventy orcas have been born in captivity around the world since 1977 (not counting another 30 that were stillborn or died in utero), according to records in two databases maintained by cetacean experts. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Orcas don’t do well in captivity. Here’s why.," 25 Mar. 2019

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

1713, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

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The first known use of in utero was in 1713

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More Definitions for in utero

\ in-ˈyüt-ə-ˌrō How to pronounce in utero (audio) \

Medical Definition of in utero

: in the uterus : before birth a disease acquired in utero an in utero diagnosis
\ in-ˈyü-tə-rō How to pronounce in utero (audio) \

Legal Definition of in utero

: in the uterus : before birth an injury suffered in utero that her condition could possibly be linked to in utero exposureBurgess v. Eli Lilly & Co., 995 F.2d 646 (1993)

History and Etymology for in utero


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What made you want to look up in utero? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

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