ova·​ry | \ ˈō-və-rē How to pronounce ovary (audio) , 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

This disease may affect the jaw, central nervous system, bowel, kidneys, ovaries, or other organs. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Why is "Dance Moms" Star Abby Lee Miller in a Wheelchair?," 10 June 2019 For example, a study found female Atlantic croaker fish developed reproductive organs more similar to testes instead of ovaries when living in hypoxic conditions. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Dead zones, explained," 31 July 2019 So, some patients are given the option to do the procedure in stages, starting with the removal of the fallopian tubes (which doesn't force a patient into menopause) and then progressing to the ovaries later. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "How Your BRCA Status May Impact Your Ovarian Cancer Treatment," 17 Dec. 2018 However, once the eggs are laid, their presence signals the bee’s ovaries to slow down the rate of egg laying and focus instead on caretaking. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘How Equality and Inequality Shape Birds and Bees’," 9 Nov. 2018 Blood tests will check reproductive hormone levels, which can indirectly demonstrate the quality and number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "What Kind of Testing Will My Fertility Specialist Conduct?," 1 Oct. 2018 Medical treatments may also be necessary for those who enter menopause because of chemotherapy and radiation, oophorectomy (the surgical removal of the ovaries), or premature menopause, which is when women enter menopause before the age of 40. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How Long Does Menopause Last?," 6 Sep. 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 According to the New York Times, one cleric even falsely made the sweeping claim that driving could permanently bring harm a woman’s ovaries! Iman Hariri-kia, Teen Vogue, "2 Sisters From Saudi Arabia Tell Us the Importance of Lifting the Driving Ban," 24 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

7 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce ovary (audio) \
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 How to pronounce ovary (audio) \
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

Comments on ovary

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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