\ 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

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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

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

At Westport Stadium, a season-high 7,300 fans see Baltimore’s Bob Whay defeat Peewee Pobletts, of Randallstown, in the 50-lap feature stock car race on the 1/5-mile clay oval. Mike Klingaman, baltimoresun.com, "This Week in Baltimore Sports History: Ripken, Mussina combine for grand triumph," 30 June 2019 Each card displays a different design with four attributes — color (which can be red, purple or green), shape (oval, diamond or squiggle), shading (solid, striped or outlined) and number (one, two or three copies of the shape). Quanta Magazine, "Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians," 31 May 2016 Scrape grits onto baking sheet and spread out to form a 1/2-inch-thick oval; let stand for 5 minutes. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "BBQ Chicken Grits Pizza," 28 May 2019 The right-side construction of a tire to run on an oval requires more durability. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Gaining Speed: A History of the Indy 500 Racing Tire," 24 May 2019 The team formed an oval around the holder, and one by one, players stepped up and promptly missed. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks training camp Day 10: What happened, injury report, highlights and more," 7 Aug. 2018 Moretti believed that architecture was transitioning from the circle (a Classical shape), to the oval (a Baroque shape), to the free, unstructured form (the modern shape). Carson Bear, USA TODAY, "D.C.'s Watergate building: America’s most infamous address," 31 May 2018 SPEEDSKATING The Dutch are off to a great start on the Olympic speedskating oval again with a sweep of the medals in the women’s 3,000-meter race. Dennis Waszak Jr., The Seattle Times, "Charlotte Kalla wins 1st gold medal of Pyeongchang Olympics," 10 Feb. 2018 Moneypenny drew up plans for an oval and a road course. Dave Caldwell, New York Times, "The Forgotten Figure Behind Daytona International Speedway," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Town workers are to build the big oval cricket field - 480- by 430-feet - at Robertson Park this year and next. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "A growing demographic brings demand for a cricket field to Manchester," 3 July 2019 Los Alamitos has been hosting thoroughbred meets since 2014, when the traditional quarter horse track added a mile-long oval following the closure of Hollywood Park (now the site of Los Angeles’ under-construction NFL stadium). Jack Harris, latimes.com, "At Los Alamitos’ opening day of horse racing, a feeling of ‘less stress’," 29 June 2019 There was one issue: the shovel handle was oval, while the attachments on the cross arm were machined for circular tubing. National Geographic, "Inside the Everest expedition that built the world’s highest weather station," 27 June 2019 An ocean breeze pushed Lennon’s short brown hair away from his forehead, and his eyes were hidden behind small, oval sunglasses. David Gambacorta, Longreads, "Took You By Surprise: John and Paul’s Lost Reunion," 25 June 2019 Running at a steady 50 mph on the 2.5-mile oval track, Chevy claimed a 4WD diesel Silverado 1500 got 35.9 mpg, compared with 31.3 for a 4WD F-159 diesel. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how the 2020 Chevy Silverado pickup's quiet, powerful diesel is like a BMW," 23 June 2019 Newgarden’s Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, who swept the Indianapolis road course and oval events, is the only other multiple-race winner and sits third in points. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What you need to know for IndyCar at Road America this weekend," 18 June 2019 The architects also point out the oval’s economic advantages. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "A new oval apartment tower breaks out of the box and brightens downtown’s western edge," 12 June 2019 The muddy spots on the trail feature more oval indentations of grizzly paws than bootprints. Anchorage Daily News, "The sound of silence in Russell Fjord," 8 June 2019

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


Statistics for oval

Last Updated

6 Jul 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 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

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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

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