\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

Be sure to leave enough room for the beak and feet before placing the ovals that form the head and body of the duck. Amy Raudenbush, Philly.com, "Calling all kids! Draw this cute duck for a chance to see your artwork published," 22 June 2018 Introduced this year in Geneva, the ladies Hypnose is an elliptical watch that represents the natural evolution from the historic 1906 oval shaped Cartier Baignoire. Stephen Watson, Town & Country, "A First Look Inside the New Cartier Mansion," 8 Sep. 2016 Dead center, in the lower third of the oval, anchoring the whole scene, is a robust, spherical, tawny object. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "A Scene Beyond Time," 24 Aug. 2018 There are circles and ovals and croissant shapes, sticks that could be baguettes, and squares that could be loaves. Frances Leech, Longreads, "Forgetting the Madeleine," 3 May 2018 Leafy, 12-acre, 19th-century Camperdown Park is the sportier of the two, with a cricket oval, and tennis and basketball courts. Sophie Davies, Condé Nast Traveler, "16 Best Parks in Sydney," 20 Mar. 2018 Drivers found the new course, a 17-turn, 2.28-mile run that includes portions of the infield and the high-speed oval, somewhat of a mystery during testing Tuesday. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Charlotte Motor Speedway's 'roval' course remains a mystery after testing," 10 July 2018 As of Tuesday, May 15, the famous oval has been opened up to monthly Tuesday Night Street Drags, with 141 entrants on the first night. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Allis officials worry about street racing at State Fair Park's Milwaukee Mile," 23 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The complex gold chain draws the eye upward and outward from the concentrated energy of the pendant to a final oval pair of small opals. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, "‘Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork’ Review: All That Glitters," 28 Nov. 2018 The massive oval pavilion, with its concrete columns and steel cables, was created as the Tent of Tomorrow for the 1964 World’s Fair. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "Arbiter of taste, enfant terrible: The best and worst of Philip Johnson," 6 Nov. 2018 Young women seeking plastic surgery often ask to have their faces sculpted along her classic oval lines. Dominique Fong, WSJ, "Chinese Star Fan Bingbing Fined $70 Million for Tax Evasion," 3 Oct. 2018 The sparkler the couple chose features a rare pink-orange oval padparadscha sapphire gem with a halo of diamonds surrounding it. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's Engagement Story Is Straight Out of a Movie," 29 Aug. 2018 Carve 2 oval eyes, then cut 2 smaller circles from leftover rind for pupils. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "50+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween," 25 July 2018 The ring, which features a pinkish-orange oval padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds, bears a close resemblance to the engagement ring Eugenie's father, Prince Andrew, gave to her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Everything We Know So Far About Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's Wedding," 18 July 2018 In the place where our oval white Formica kitchen table used to stand — dominating our world — there now sat a sleek rectangular wooden table with modern white leather chairs. Linda Wolff, latimes.com, "More than 30 years later, a visit to the old home where kids played and Dad used to smoke his pipe," 16 June 2018 Nearby stands an oval dining table surrounded by Arne Jacobsen chairs in lime and lemon. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, "HOUSE TOUR: A Minimalist, Moroccan-Inspired Pool House In New York," 29 June 2016

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

7 Dec 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

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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