\ˈō-vəl \

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

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Other Words from oval


ovality \ō-ˈva-lə-tē \ noun
ovally \ˈō-və-lē \ adverb
ovalness noun

Synonyms for oval

Synonyms: Adjective

elliptical (or elliptic), ovate, ovoid (also ovoidal)

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Examples of oval in a Sentence


The racetrack is an oval.


the Oval Office in the White House

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The only race track left in town is the Comanche Park Quarter-Midget track on Rigsby, a 1/20-mile oval for kids racing midget cars. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "It’s not you, racing. It’s us.," 7 Jan. 2018 Clean striping brush with acetone, dip in black polish, then add a oblong oval—this is the pupil—in the center of each patch of color. Hannah Morrill, Harper's BAZAAR, "4 DIY Halloween Nail Art Ideas You Need to Try," 23 Sep. 2016 Crafton, 41, is still looking for his first win of the season but is coming off a second-place finish at Dover last week and was fifth in Atlanta, a 1.5 mile tri-oval similar to Kansas Speedway. Randy Covitz Special To The Kansas City Star, kansascity, "Somethin' bout a Truck: Five who could score Friday at Kansas Speedway | The Kansas City Star," 10 May 2018 Other styles include bezel-set diamonds in oval, marquise, or emerald cuts; elegant cigar bands; fully pavéd bands; and rings with three or seven diamonds across. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Introducing Ceremony, a New Line of Diamond Rings, Signets, and Pavé Bands to Celebrate “Love of All Kinds”," 10 May 2018 The only engine to truly break the mold—the only one to make it into production—was engineer Felix Wankel’s rotary wonder, a triangle inside an oval, spinning like a demon. Blake Z. Rong, Popular Mechanics, "​​The Evolution of the Combustion Engine​​," 5 June 2018 Eleven sections make up the flexible band, and it's pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan Markle Wore Her Hair Up for the Royal Wedding and It Was Lovely," 19 May 2018 The bandeau, which is made of diamonds and platinum, is formed as a flexible band of eleven sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Wedding Tiara Looks So Different Than Kate and Diana's," 19 May 2018 Turquoise ovals crowd a ring of fluorescent magenta flesh in another image—a section of intestines inside a zebrafish. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "Scientific Images Make Dazzling Art In a Duke University Exhibit," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Fuzzy leaf motifs — such as beech, oak, sycamore — were used decoratively on oval or A-line coats that glimmered with metallic thread. Washington Post, "Chanel caps Paris with ode to fall; stars out at Vuitton," 6 Mar. 2018 Truex and the rest of the Cup Series face a different challenge on this visit to the bumpy 1.5-mile oval. Jay Cohen, chicagotribune.com, "Martin Truex Jr. looks for third straight Cup Series win at Chicagoland Speedway," 30 June 2018 DiPalma advises that oval faces can wear pretty much any shape, but look best in oversized styles. Bloomberg, Fortune, "These $500 Ray-Ban Aviators Are Plated in 24K Gold," 16 June 2018 Its surface is only a half-mile oval—as opposed to the one-mile oval at Suffolk — and is considered narrow for thoroughbreds. Andy Rosen, BostonGlobe.com, "Suffolk Downs group plans to conduct racing at Great Barrington in 2019," 23 May 2018 Inside, deep in discussion, a dozen men and women sat around a long, oval-shaped wooden conference table. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The billion-dollar question: How does the Clipper mission get to Europa?," 16 Apr. 2018 Superimposed in the center of this ebullience is an oval frame containing a close-up color image of tangled tree roots, taken in Africa. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "Review: Photographer Todd Gray traces African roots," 9 July 2018 France wanted a true two-and-a-half-mile oval, like Indianapolis, which opened in 1909. Dave Caldwell, New York Times, "The Forgotten Figure Behind Daytona International Speedway," 7 July 2018 As Gossage said last month, though, the series needs to have oval tracks on the schedule considering the series' Super Bowl, the Indy 500, is run on an oval. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Will IndyCar return to Texas Motor Speedway in 2019?," 10 July 2018

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.

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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

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Learn More about oval

Dictionary Entries near oval






Oval Office


Phrases Related to oval

the Oval Office

Statistics for oval

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oval

The first known use of oval was in 1561

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More Definitions for oval



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 \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on oval

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oval

Spanish Central: Translation of oval

Nglish: Translation of oval for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oval for Arabic Speakers

Comments on oval

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lying above or upon

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