\ ˈō-vəl How to pronounce oval (audio) \

Definition of oval

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an oval figure or object
2 : a racetrack in the shape of an oval or a rectangle having rounded corners

Definition of oval (Entry 2 of 2)

: having the shape of an egg also : broadly elliptical

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from oval


ovality \ ō-​ˈva-​lə-​tē How to pronounce ovality (audio) \ noun
ovally \ ˈō-​və-​lē How to pronounce ovally (audio) \ adverb
ovalness noun

Synonyms for oval

Synonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of oval in a Sentence

Noun The racetrack is an oval. Adjective the Oval Office in the White House
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The test procedure, conducted on July 28 on a three-mile (4.8km) oval at Fowlerville Proving Ground in Michigan, was quite straightforward. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "How far can you drive an electric car at 70mph before it stops?," 31 Aug. 2020 During the last Cup Series race on the 2.5-mile oval, Ryan Newman, who is in this weekend’s field, came a split-second from winning the Daytona 500 and possibly inches from life-threatening injuries during a final lap crash. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Jimmie Johnson makes final push for playoff spot at Daytona’s Coke Zero Sugar 400," 28 Aug. 2020 Loaded with former 500 winners Power, Tony Kanaan, Pagenaud and Castroneves, who combine for six 500s and three series championships, the rear 12 drivers have combined to lead more than 1,050 laps around the IMS oval. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Andretti curse, a looming Scott Dixon & more: 5 things to watch for in the Indy 500," 20 Aug. 2020 The columns in the oval-shaped room were painted to look like saguaro cacti, and the mural ran around the perimeter of the second tier. Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, "Section of epic Pearl Brewery mural ‘The History of Ranching’ that was lost for years now at Texas State University," 25 Aug. 2020 Swanson tested the car once before on an oval in Wisconsin and the team had Swanson as a crew member at other races before giving the five-time USAC Silver Crown champion a shot in what has been a major time and financial crunch. Christopher Deharde, The Indianapolis Star, "Kody and Tanner Swanson shine at Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway," 23 Aug. 2020 And for this visit, stock cars are going to use a layout more familiar to fans of the annual Rolex 24 endurance race for sports cars instead of the 2.5-mile (4km) tri-oval. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "NASCAR had to tweak the Daytona road course for stock cars—here’s why," 15 Aug. 2020 The high-banked oval routinely delivers wild rides, harrowing wrecks and dramatic finishes. Mark Long, Star Tribune, "Unpredictability ahead as NASCAR gets on Daytona road course," 14 Aug. 2020 It’s now like other counties, and voters fill in an oval to cast a vote. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "Your guide to voting by mail in Florida — and making sure your ballot gets counted," 11 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The archaeologists made this gender determination based on the presence of artifacts such as an oval brooch, a pair of scissors and several colored beads. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Norwegian Archaeologists Unearth Grave of Left-Handed Viking Warrior," 4 Sep. 2020 Among his nearly 900 projects were the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, the Porta Nuova district in Milan, the Diagonal Mar complex in Barcelona and a stack of oval tiers in Midtown Manhattan known as the lipstick building. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Real-Estate Developer Gerald Hines Bet on Elegant Designs," 4 Sep. 2020 Hulbert, who went into Friday’s program fifth in the late model points standings, is no stranger to oval track racing. Tony Baranek, chicagotribune.com, "20th century fox: Billy Hulbert Jr.’s late model success story at Grundy County Speedway is one for the ages," 28 Aug. 2020 Hines exported this approach nationally and then globally, completing New York’s oval Lipstick Building in 1986, Mexico City’s Del Bosque office complex in 1997 and Barcelona’s Diagonal Mar shopping center in 2001. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Gerald Hines, namesake of huge Houston property firm, dies at age 95," 24 Aug. 2020 From 2000 through 2012, seven new faces took the green flag on the famed 2.5-mile oval track. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Why the 2020 Indy 500 will be the first since 2000 without a driver who's a woman," 18 Aug. 2020 Once boards were installed, the meticulous process of turning 20,000 gallons of ordinary tap water into 2 inches of NHL ice started with fine mist machines slowly and evenly applying water across the entire oval surface. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "How the NHL brought Avalanche-Kings hockey to Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy," 14 Feb. 2020 The Australian driver has also been pegged to drive for Rick Ware Racing in two August Cup races at Daytona — the road course race Aug. 16 and the Coke Zero 400 on the oval Aug. 29. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "James Davison, Dale Coyne Racing add 31st entry to Indy 500, but 33-car field still in jeopardy," 6 Aug. 2020 The oval 2-inch leaves are rich green with a slightly bluish cast, and are attractive in their own right. Dan Gill, NOLA.com, "Dan Gill recommends 8 plants to give you the colors, the scents and the shade of the tropics," 5 Aug. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of oval


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oval


Medieval Latin ovalis, from Late Latin, of an egg, from Latin ovum

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oval

Statistics for oval

Last Updated

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oval.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oval. Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oval


How to pronounce oval (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of oval

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that has the shape of an egg

English Language Learners Definition of oval (Entry 2 of 2)

: having the shape of an egg : shaped like a circle that is longer than it is wide


\ ˈō-vəl How to pronounce oval (audio) \

Kids Definition of oval

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something having the shape of an egg or ellipse The racetrack is an oval.

Kids Definition of oval (Entry 2 of 2)

: having the shape of an egg or ellipse : elliptical

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on oval

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
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!