mor·​u·​la | \ ˈmȯr-(y)ə-lə How to pronounce morula (audio) , ˈmär- \
plural morulae\ ˈmȯr-​(y)ə-​ˌlē How to pronounce morula (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 morula (audio) , ˈmär-​ \ adjective
morulation \ ˌmȯr-​(y)ə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce morula (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.")

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Cite this Entry

“Morula.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for morula


mor·​u·​la | \ ˈmȯr-(y)ə-lə, ˈmär- How to pronounce morula (audio) \
plural morulae\ -​ˌlē, -​ˌlī How to pronounce morula (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 morula (audio) \ adjective
morulation \ ˌmȯr-​(y)ə-​ˈlā-​shən, ˌmär-​ How to pronounce morula (audio) \ noun

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