uter·​us | \ ˈyü-tə-rəs How to pronounce uterus (audio) , ˈyü-trəs\
plural uteri\ ˈyü-​tə-​ˌrī How to pronounce uteri (audio) \ or uteruses

Definition of uterus

1 : a muscular organ of the female mammal for containing and usually for nourishing the young during development prior to birth

called also womb

2 : a structure in some lower animals analogous to the uterus in which eggs or young develop

Examples of uterus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But commenting on her body in a way that sticks your nose all up in her uterus or diet regimen is just too much. Danielle Young, Essence, "Shutup, Rihanna Is Not Pregnant Or Fat," 14 Sep. 2019 Ultrasounds were performed several times a week to look for changes in her uterus. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "No giant panda cub this year at National Zoo," 11 Sep. 2019 Ford said her doctor never warned her that the ones resting on her uterus could complicate her own childbirth. Adria Watson, The Mercury News, "A black mother told not to scream in labor asks: Can California fix racism in maternity care?," 11 July 2019 Major functional changes in these tissues continue to take place after birth, as the organism adapts to life outside the uterus, for the first time using its lungs to breathe air and its digestive system to process food. Quanta Magazine, "To Heal Some Wounds, Adult Cells Turn More Fetal," 29 Aug. 2018 From egg-laying ancestors, mammals evolved a new way to reproduce that involved a uterus and placenta. Viviane Callier, BostonGlobe.com, "How gender makes a difference in disease," 30 Aug. 2019 The uterus was then closed and the fetus remained in the womb to continue developing for the remainder of the pregnancy. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Cleveland Clinic performs its first fetal surgery to repair spina bifida," 20 June 2019 Opting for a less literal slogan route, a pleated evening gown was embroidered with a beaded and sequined uterus. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gucci Advocates for Women's Abortion Rights on Cruise 2020 Runway," 29 May 2019 The procedure might also allow transgender women who were not born with a uterus to bear children. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Transplanted Wombs Provide Potential Path to Fertility for Millions of Women," 18 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for uterus

Middle English, from Latin, belly, womb; probably akin to Greek hoderos belly, Sanskrit udara

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for uterus

The first known use of uterus was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of uterus

medical : the organ in women and some female animals in which babies develop before birth


uter·​us | \ ˈyü-tə-rəs How to pronounce uterus (audio) \
plural uteruses or uteri\ ˈyü-​tə-​ˌrī \

Kids Definition of uterus

: the organ of a female mammal in which the young develop before birth


uter·​us | \ ˈyüt-ə-rəs How to pronounce uterus (audio) \
plural uteri\ -​ˌrī How to pronounce uteri (audio) \ also uteruses

Medical Definition of uterus

: an organ in female mammals for containing and usually for nourishing the young during development prior to birth that consists of a greatly modified and enlarged section of an oviduct (as in rodents and marsupials) or of the two oviducts united (as in the higher primates including humans), that has thick walls consisting of an outer serous layer, a very thick middle layer of smooth muscle, and an inner mucous layer containing numerous glands, and that during pregnancy undergoes great increase in size and change in the condition of its walls

called also womb

— see cervix sense 2a, corpus uteri, endometrium, fundus sense c, myometrium, perimetrium

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More from Merriam-Webster on uterus

Spanish Central: Translation of uterus

Nglish: Translation of uterus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of uterus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about uterus

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