\ 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

With dirt and asphalt ovals, an internationally renown road course and even a couple of drag strips, a Wisconsin racing fan can find a race to attend from late April into early October. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A track opener — even a ragged one — is just the cure for a racing fan's spring fever," 29 Apr. 2018 Vector lines intersect with ovals and triangles; glinting 1950s nostalgia starbursts are everywhere. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Midcentury modern wallpaper lets you live out your 1950s dreams," 5 Oct. 2018 Your information will be used as described in our Privacy Policy INDIANAPOLIS — Will Power hated racing on ovals. Jenna Fryer, Houston Chronicle, "Will Power wins Indy 500, No. 17 for car owner Roger Penske," 27 May 2018 The filled-in oval for the Petitioner had a line drawn through it. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "Virginia officials prepare for rare tie-breaking lottery that could determine political control of legislature," 4 Jan. 2018 The event, sponsored by the Harry Miller Club, features Indy Champ Cars, Roadsters and Laydowns from before and after World War II running on the State Fair oval from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Things to do in Milwaukee this weekend, from Bastille Days and World Cup finale to historic Harleys," 12 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 The race looked like a runaway for Kyle Busch, who had a lead of about two seconds with 20 laps to go on the 1.5-mile oval. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Hembree: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson stage dramatic duel in Cup season's best finish," 1 July 2018 To win on the oval near St. Louis, Newgarden dove under Pagenaud entering Turn 1, bumping his teammate and forcing him to slow. Michael Knight, azcentral, "IndyCar struggling to make new generation of drivers household names like the icons of old," 1 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Wrap and flatten slightly to create an oval; freeze 20 min. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Fruitcake Cookies," 30 Nov. 2018 The four essential elements needed for a cake to be considered a king cake are: A slightly sweet cake, baked in an oval or circle. Melinda Morris, NOLA.com, "Krewe of Eve rolls in Mandeville: See throws you can catch," 2 Feb. 2018 It was built from 756 prefabricated convex oval concrete modules, which give the building its perfectly gridded facade. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "This Brutalist masterpiece is now a gorgeous coworking space," 12 Dec. 2018 During a game, or bout, two teams of women clad in helmets, tattoos and various pieces of plastic armor race around an oval track. Nina Adam, WSJ, "Female Roller Derby Skaters Are Fearless—So Are Their Male Cheerleaders," 7 Dec. 2018 At the rear, a diffuser-like finisher is bracketed by those large oval tailpipes, and a small, gloss-black lip spoiler adorns the trunk lid. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "The 2018 Audi RS5: Effortless speed and a magic carpet ride," 7 Apr. 2018 Cut out a smaller oval shape for the nose out of black paper and glue it towards the top of the snout circles. Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Animal Gift Wrap," 8 Oct. 2018 The oval shape of the image strengthens the association with Cubist tabletops. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "A Scene Beyond Time," 24 Aug. 2018 Fairy knots tend to occur in curly or coily hair because the follicle of curly hair is an oval shape, causing the hair to grow out of the scalp in a twisting, coiling nature. Janell Hickman, Allure, "Fairy Knots 101: How to Deal With Single-Strand Knots in Your Natural Hair," 3 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near oval






Oval Office


Statistics for oval

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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

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


very full or close together

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