\ 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

Stretching the ring in one direction flattens a bit in in the other, turning the ring into an oval and seemingly increasing the physical resistance required to stretch further. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Wii Fit redux: Nintendo shows mysterious exercise ring for the Switch," 5 Sep. 2019 Jubilee Park has a historic cricket oval, and both it and Bicentennial Park feature kids’ playgrounds. Sophie Davies, Condé Nast Traveler, "16 Best Parks in Sydney," 20 Mar. 2018 Two of his seven wins have been on ovals, including the 2016 Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. cleveland.com, "Scott Dixon races to sixth IndyCar victory at Mid-Ohio, gets back into title contention," 28 July 2019 The debris is left behind the comet and creates a giant oval that extends from beyond Pluto to around the sun. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "Here comes the best meteor shower of the year: How and when to watch the Perseids," 8 Aug. 2019 Form a ball of the rice about half the size of a golf ball (about 3/4 ounce) in your right hand, gently shaping it into an oval. Michael A. Gardiner, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Unrushed rice is key to success with homemade sushi," 6 Aug. 2019 The moon's orbit of the Earth follows what scientists call an elliptical path, shaped more like an oval than a circle. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Moon: An Explainer," 25 July 2019 As for the cut, Scarlett's seemed to be possibly pear-shaped, but the image on Taffin's feed appears to be more oblong and oval in shape. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Scarlett Johansson's Engagement Ring Is One of The Chicest We've Ever Seen," 24 July 2019 Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at the 1.058-mile oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway begins at 3 p.m., and will be televised on NBCSN. Brandon Chase, BostonGlobe.com, "What do NASCAR drivers like about racing in New England? We asked that and more," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis on Saturday at 8:45 p.m. will have all of the drama and excitement that the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season can possibly provide at the 1.25 mile oval. Christopher Deharde, Indianapolis Star, "Three things to watch for at IndyCar race at Gateway," 23 Aug. 2019 Cossett burrowed into the dirt, using her rear feet like shovels, before finally depositing four eggs, all smooth, oval-shaped and blue-ish, in the nest. Elise Takahama, The Seattle Times, "‘I love ’em to death’: Kennewick woman gives home to hundreds of neglected tortoises," 5 Aug. 2019 This weekend 26,000 Firestone Firehawk tires will race for the 2019 season on the 16 oval, road, and street course venues in the NTT IndyCar Series schedule. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Gaining Speed: A History of the Indy 500 Racing Tire," 24 May 2019 There are 9 main nail shapes: round, square, rounded square, oval, squoval, ballerina, almond, stiletto, and lipstick. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "The Easy Way to Figure Out Which Nail Shape Looks Best on You," 10 Jan. 2019 Sprint, modified, pure stock and hornet racing on 3/8 mile high banked, clay oval track. Luann Gibbs, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do this week in Cincinnati: Aug. 26-Sept. 2," 26 Aug. 2019 Wells popped the question with a massive oval diamond. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, ""Modern Family"’s Sarah Hyland Got Engaged to Boyfriend Wells Adams," 17 July 2019 The top lots on offer include an oval 51.71-carat diamond ring that's expected to sell for as much as $9 million at Sotheby's and a 50.47-carat Harry Winston diamond ring that may fetch as much as $7 million at Christie's. Bloomberg News, NOLA.com, "Elvis' diamond Omega watch sells at auction for $1.8 million," 14 May 2018 The performer’s multifaceted approach to comedy doesn’t exactly fit in one box, square, oval or cactus pot. Los Angeles Times, "In Julio Torres’ defiantly unique comedy, everyone — and everything — has a story," 9 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near oval






Oval Office


Statistics for oval

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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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

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 make a temporary encampment

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