ovum

noun
\ ˈō-vəm How to pronounce ovum (audio) \
plural ova\ ˈō-​və How to pronounce ovum (audio) \

Definition of ovum

: a female gamete : macrogamete

called also egg cell

Examples of ovum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The right chemical stimulus can cause a mammalian ovum in a lab, even a human one, to start dividing and producing an embryo without sperm. Quanta Magazine, 18 June 2020 Each ovum has its own characteristics and personality, but the woman is young, not necessarily in a forever-relationship and just not ready for a baby of her own. Christine Dolen, sun-sentinel.com, 15 July 2019 Pregnancy occurs when a sperm cell fertilizes an ovum that has been released into the Fallopian tubes after ovulation. Shan Boodram, Teen Vogue, 19 July 2018 This is the part of the sperm that produces an enzyme that breaks down the outer edge of the ovum, enabling pregnancy. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 16 July 2018 In more 80 percent of the 41 fertilized ovums tested, the growing and dividing cells failed to form a hollow sphere of about 200 cells, called a blastocyst. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, 21 Sep. 2017 If there exists a Platonic ideal of a bird egg, an ovum shaped most like all the others, it is not laid by a chicken but by a small warbler called the graceful prinia. Ben Guarino, sacbee.com, 22 June 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of ovum

1672, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ovum

New Latin, from Latin, egg — more at egg entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ovum

Dictionary Entries Near ovum

ovulum

ovum

ow

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ovum

Cite this Entry

“Ovum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ovum. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ovum

ovum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ovum

ovum

noun
\ ˈō-vəm How to pronounce ovum (audio) \
plural ova\ ˈō-​və \

Kids Definition of ovum

ovum

noun
\ ˈō-vəm How to pronounce ovum (audio) \
plural ova\ -​və How to pronounce ovum (audio) \

Medical Definition of ovum

: a female gamete : macrogamete especially : a mature egg that has undergone reduction, is ready for fertilization, and takes the form of a relatively large inactive gamete providing a comparatively great amount of reserve material and contributing most of the cytoplasm of the zygote

More from Merriam-Webster on ovum

Nglish: Translation of ovum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ovum

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!