foramen ovale

foramen ova·​le | \-ō-ˈva-lē, -ˈvä-, -ˈvā-\

Definition of foramen ovale 

: an opening in the septum between the two atria of the heart that is normally present only in the fetus

Examples of foramen ovale in a Sentence

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Doctors blame a hole in McCabe's heart — more formally called a patent foramen ovale, or PFO — as the cause of the stroke. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Virginia girl, 3, uses FaceTime to save father's life after he suffers stroke," 12 July 2018

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

First Known Use of foramen ovale

circa 1860, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for foramen ovale

New Latin, literally, oval opening

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The first known use of foramen ovale was circa 1860

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More Definitions for foramen ovale

foramen ovale

foramen ova·​le | \-ō-ˈva-(ˌ)lē, -ˈvā-, -ˈvä- \

Medical Definition of foramen ovale 

1 : an opening in the septum between the two atria of the heart that is normally present only in the fetus

2 : an oval opening in the greater wing of the sphenoid for passage of the mandibular nerve

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