plural ova ˈō-və How to pronounce ovum (audio)
: a female gamete : macrogamete

called also egg cell

Examples of ovum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most common places for an ectopic pregnancy are along the path the ovum (egg) travels, meaning from the ovary, through the fallopian tube (which carries the ovum from the ovary to the uterus) and the uterus, and even its opening, the cervix. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 6 May 2022 One of the two missing eggs is known as the Cherub with Chariot, which depicts a chubby baby angel pulling an ovum on a carriage. Stu Woo and Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, 7 Dec. 2022 The menstrual cycle is usually 28 days and is divided in half by ovulation on day 14, as the ovum is released from the ovary. Jason Karp, Outside Online, 14 Mar. 2014 Afterward, odds are fair that an ovum of the bottom lizard will set out on its parthenogenic way. Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 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,, 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ovum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1672, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ovum was in 1672

Dictionary Entries Near ovum

Cite this Entry

“Ovum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural ova -və How to pronounce ovum (audio)

Medical Definition


plural ova -və How to pronounce ovum (audio)
: 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

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