placenta

noun
pla·​cen·​ta | \ plə-ˈsen-tə How to pronounce placenta (audio) \
plural placentas or placentae\ plə-​ˈsen-​(ˌ)tē How to pronounce placentae (audio) \

Definition of placenta

1 : the vascular organ in mammals except monotremes and marsupials that unites the fetus to the maternal uterus and mediates its metabolic exchanges through a more or less intimate association of uterine mucosal with chorionic and usually allantoic tissues also : an analogous organ in another animal
2 : a sporangium-bearing surface especially : the part of the carpel bearing ovules

Examples of placenta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And a new study from Italy suggests that coronavirus can cross the placenta from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, July 10," 10 July 2020 Technically, any organ comprised of both maternal and fetal tissues which exchanges nutrients counts as a placenta. Jake Buehler, National Geographic, "This frog’s babies erupt out of its back—and other surprising ways animals give birth," 8 June 2020 This can take the form of a specialized, temporary organ, like a placenta. Jake Buehler, National Geographic, "This frog’s babies erupt out of its back—and other surprising ways animals give birth," 8 June 2020 Damage to the placenta, for example, could lead to transfer of the mother’s antibodies to the baby. Alice Park, Time, "Why Children Seem to Be Less Affected By the Coronavirus," 6 Apr. 2020 IgM antibodies, however, are usually too large to cross the placenta. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "New coronavirus leaves pregnant women with wrenching choices—but little data to guide them," 27 Mar. 2020 The clinics use a variety of stem cell products, including those from fat tissue, along with cells from bone marrow and from birth tissue like the placenta and umbilical cord. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Ruling against stem cell clinic has repercussions for industry, Calif. firm," 4 June 2019 In such places, air pollution may reach us before our first breath—particulates have been found in the placenta of pregnant mothers—and continues to harm us until our last one, increasing the risk of cancer, heart attacks, and respiratory disease. Raghu Karnad, The New Yorker, "The Coronavirus Offers a Radical New Vision for India’s Cities," 13 Apr. 2020 Two of the papers, published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported finding a type of antibody to Covid-19 in newborns that is not typically passed across the placenta from mother to fetus. Helen Branswell, STAT, "New reports raise possibility pregnant women can pass coronavirus to fetus, but risk is unclear," 26 Mar. 2020

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

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for placenta

New Latin, from Latin, flat cake, from Greek plakoenta, accusative of plakoeis, from plak-, plax flat surface — more at fluke

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Time Traveler for placenta

Time Traveler

The first known use of placenta was in 1638

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Statistics for placenta

Last Updated

17 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Placenta.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/placenta. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for placenta

placenta

noun
How to pronounce placenta (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of placenta

medical : the organ in mammals that forms inside the mother's uterus, nourishes the unborn baby, and is pushed out of the mother after the birth of the baby

placenta

noun
pla·​cen·​ta | \ plə-ˈsen-tə How to pronounce placenta (audio) \

Kids Definition of placenta

: the organ in most mammals by which the fetus is joined to the uterus of the mother and is nourished

placenta

noun
pla·​cen·​ta | \ plə-ˈsent-ə How to pronounce placenta (audio) \
plural placentas or placentae\ -​ˈsent-​(ˌ)ē How to pronounce placentae (audio) \

Medical Definition of placenta

: the vascular organ in mammals except monotremes and marsupials that unites the fetus to the maternal uterus and mediates its metabolic exchanges through a more or less intimate association of uterine mucosal with chorionic and usually allantoic tissues permitting exchange of material by diffusion between the maternal and fetal vascular systems but without direct contact between maternal and fetal blood and typically involving the interlocking of fingerlike vascular chorionic villi with corresponding modified areas of the uterine mucosa — see abruptio placentae

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More from Merriam-Webster on placenta

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with placenta

Spanish Central: Translation of placenta

Nglish: Translation of placenta for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of placenta for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about placenta

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