mor·​u·​la | \ ˈmȯr-(y)ə-lə How to pronounce morula (audio) , ˈmär- \
plural morulae\ ˈmȯr-​(y)ə-​ˌlē How to pronounce morulae (audio) , -​ˌlī , ˈmär-​ \ also morulas

Definition of morula

: a globular solid mass of blastomeres formed by cleavage of a zygote that typically precedes the blastula

Other Words from morula

morular \ ˈmȯr-​(y)ə-​lər How to pronounce morular (audio) , ˈmär-​ \ adjective
morulation \ ˌmȯr-​(y)ə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce morulation (audio) , ˌmär-​ \ noun

First Known Use of morula

1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for morula

borrowed from New Latin (in a German context), from Latin mōrum "black mulberry, blackberry" + New Latin -ula (as in gastrula, planula) — more at mulberry

Note: The term was introduced by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) in Die Kalkschwämme, Band 1 (Berlin, 1872), p. 112: "Der Organismus der Kalkschwämme bildet zunächst, nachdem er den monoplastiden Zustand der Eizelle durch die Befruchtung der letzeren überwunden und sich durch die vollbrachte 'Furchtung' des Eies von der ersten zur zweiten Individualitäts-Ordnung erhoben hat, die sogenannte 'Maulbeer-Form' oder 'Brombeer-Form,' welche wir ein für allemal als Morula bezeichnen wollen." ("After the calcareous-sponge organism goes beyond the undifferentiated condition of the egg cell through fertilization, and through completed 'cleavage' of the egg has risen from the first to the second rank of individuality, it forms at first the so-called 'mulberry-form' or 'blackberry-form,' which we will designate once and for all as the morula.")

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about morula

Time Traveler for morula

Time Traveler

The first known use of morula was in 1875

See more words from the same year

Statistics for morula

Cite this Entry

“Morula.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for morula


mor·​u·​la | \ ˈmȯr-(y)ə-lə, ˈmär- How to pronounce morula (audio) \
plural morulae\ -​ˌlē, -​ˌlī How to pronounce morulae (audio) \

Medical Definition of morula

: a globular solid mass of blastomeres formed by cleavage of a zygote that typically precedes the blastula — compare gastrula

Other Words from morula

morular \ -​lər How to pronounce morular (audio) \ adjective
morulation \ ˌmȯr-​(y)ə-​ˈlā-​shən, ˌmär-​ How to pronounce morulation (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on morula Encyclopedia article about morula

Comments on morula

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!