uter·​us | \ ˈyü-tə-rəs How to pronounce uterus (audio) , ˈyü-trəs \
plural uteri\ ˈyü-​tə-​ˌrī How to pronounce uterus (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 An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus, according to the Mayo Clinic. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 21 Dec. 2021 Mifepristone, used up to the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, works by halting the supply of hormones that maintain the interior of the uterus, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2021 The hormone helps maintain the inside of the uterus. Jen Christensen, CNN, 16 Dec. 2021 Families with this syndrome often have other cancers, especially of the uterus, but also ovary, stomach and others. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 9 Nov. 2021 The uterus produces prostaglandin during your period. Laken Brooks, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 Phipps has a double uterus — a rare abnormality called uterine didelphys which led to the children being born prematurely. Natasha Dado, PEOPLE.com, 27 Dec. 2021 In 2% to 5% of women with a Chlamydia infection, the infection can affect the uterus, Fallopian tubes or ovaries, causing pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious condition that may affect fertility. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 23 Dec. 2021 About 24 to 48 hours later, the patient takes the second medication, misoprostol, which spurs cramping and bleeding to empty the uterus. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, 17 Dec. 2021

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

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Uterus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uterus. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for uterus



English Language Learners Definition of uterus

: 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 uterus (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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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