umbilical cord


Definition of umbilical cord

1a : a cord arising from the navel that connects the fetus with the placenta and through which respiratory gases, nutrients, and wastes pass
2 : a tethering or supply line (as for an astronaut outside a spacecraft or a diver underwater)
3 : a necessary, supportive, or nurturing link or connection

Examples of umbilical cord in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Let the instrument cool and wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsating, then tie the cord off in two places (shoelaces could do the trick, Dr. Ruiz says) and cut in between the ties with the sterile object, Dr. Cackovic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Woman Delivered Her Own Baby in a Hotel Room By Following YouTube Videos," 25 Apr. 2018 Studies have shown that just 25 weeks after conception, fetuses can be seen grasping at the umbilical cord inside the womb. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Why Do Couples Hold Hands?," 4 Jan. 2019 Recalling what she’d be taught in school, the teen reportedly checked the newborn’s umbilical cord and coloring. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Utah teen unexpectedly delivers aunt's baby, report says," 3 May 2018 Victoria’s umbilical cord prolapsed and the baby was stillborn on Feb. 1, 2017. Char Adams,, "Mom Honors Stillborn Daughter with Glittering Maternity Shoot for Her Rainbow Baby," 17 Apr. 2018 She was born with what is called a 'true knot,' meaning her umbilical cord was tied in a literal knot, which can result in the death of the baby. Maggie May Ethridge, Good Housekeeping, "I Gave My Kids Unusual Names, And Everyone Has an Opinion About It," 22 Apr. 2016 Dellis cut the umbilical cord, wrapped the fetus in a bathmat and disposed of it in a garbage can, according to the court papers. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "Va. governor pardons woman convicted of disposing of stillborn fetus," 1 June 2018 Meyers thanked the New York Police and Fire Departments, who were quick to the scene and cut Axel’s umbilical cord, and his neighbors, who brought down warm towels to wrap the baby in before the EMTs arrived. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Seth Meyers Helped His Wife Give Birth in the Lobby of Their Apartment," 10 Apr. 2018 Doctors found the child's umbilical cord had been well cut and clamped, indicating she had been born in a hospital. Christine Armario, Fox News, "Kids fleeing Venezuela left hungry, sick and even abandoned," 13 July 2018

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

1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about umbilical cord

Share umbilical cord

Statistics for umbilical cord

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for umbilical cord

The first known use of umbilical cord was in 1753

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for umbilical cord

umbilical cord


English Language Learners Definition of umbilical cord

: a long, narrow tube that connects an unborn baby to the placenta of its mother

umbilical cord

um·​bil·​i·​cal cord | \ ˌəm-ˈbi-li-kəl-\

Kids Definition of umbilical cord

: a cord that contains blood vessels and connects a developing fetus with the placenta of the mother

umbilical cord


Medical Definition of umbilical cord

: a cord arising from the navel that connects the fetus with the placenta and contains the two umbilical arteries and the umbilical vein

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on umbilical cord

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


the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

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


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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