ova·​ry | \ˈō-və-rē, ˈōv-rē\
plural ovaries

Definition of ovary 

1 : one of the typically paired essential female reproductive organs that produce eggs and in vertebrates female sex hormones

2 : the enlarged rounded usually basal portion of the pistil or gynoecium of an angiospermous plant that bears the ovules and consists of one or more carpels — see flower illustration

Examples of ovary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Many female carriers will ultimately choose to have their breasts and ovaries removed by their mid-forties. Pamela Munster, WSJ, "My Father’s Fight Against the Breast-Cancer Gene," 28 Sep. 2018 Preventive, or prophylactic, removal of the breasts and ovaries reduces the risk a great deal. Peter Bach, Town & Country, "A Pioneering Force," 11 Sep. 2013 These included cancers of the colon and rectum (which fell by an average of 1.7% per year), ovaries (1.6%), lung and bronchus (1.2%), cervix (1%), bladder (0.8%), brain and nervous system (0.7%) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (0.4%). Karen Kaplan, latimes.com, "The death rate from cancer is falling for American men, women and children of all backgrounds," 22 May 2018 One suggested that driving could harm a woman’s ovaries, a notion ridiculed by many Saudis on social media. Alexandra Zavis, latimes.com, "Women are the bulk of ride-app customers in Saudi Arabia. Soon they will be ride-app drivers," 27 Mar. 2018 This shot of a progestin prevents the release of an egg from the ovaries for three months. Jane E. Brody, New York Times, "Contraception for Teenagers," 19 Feb. 2018 Between days five and seven of your cycle, as your period wraps up, just one follicle continues to grow, and the others are absorbed back into your ovaries. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is There Any Reliable Way to Make Your Period Come Faster?," 11 July 2018 Females need blood's protein to develop their ovaries and make more mosquitoes. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Only female mosquitoes bother us (and other facts about the insects Alaskans love to hate)," 7 July 2018 Still another drew on science, ruling that driving would damage their ovaries. The Economist, "How to ensure Muhammad bin Salman’s reforms succeed," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ovary.' 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 ovary

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ovary

New Latin ovarium, from Latin ovum egg

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Statistics for ovary

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ovary

The first known use of ovary was in 1658

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English Language Learners Definition of ovary

: one of usually two organs in women and female animals that produce eggs and female hormones

: the part of a flower where seeds are formed


ova·​ry | \ˈō-və-rē \
plural ovaries

Kids Definition of ovary

1 : one of the usually two organs in the body of female animals in which eggs are produced

2 : the larger rounded lower part of the pistil of a flower that contains the ovules in which the seeds are formed


ova·​ry | \ˈōv-(ə-)rē \
plural ovaries

Medical Definition of ovary 

: one of the typically paired essential female reproductive organs that produce eggs and in vertebrates female sex hormones, that occur in the adult human as oval flattened bodies about one and a half inches (four centimeters) long suspended from the dorsal surface of the broad ligament of either side, that arise from the mesonephros, and that consist of a vascular fibrous stroma enclosing developing egg cells

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More from Merriam-Webster on ovary

Spanish Central: Translation of ovary

Nglish: Translation of ovary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ovary for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ovary

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