uter·​us | \ ˈyü-tə-rəs, ˈyü-trəs\
plural uteri\ ˈyü-​tə-​ˌrī \ 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 this year, doctors in Brazil reported the first uterus transplant from a deceased donor, with an incredible result: The recipient was able to give birth to a healthy baby girl. Brian Resnick, Vox, "10 science stories in 2018 that made us go, “Whoa, that’s awesome”," 18 Dec. 2018 The dog was lying in a pool of its own blood, suffering from a prolapse which left the dog's uterus exposed. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Reward offered after dog left chained and bleeding in bitter cold," 11 Jan. 2018 Then the healthiest embryo was implanted into Ashleigh's uterus at the right moment in her cycle. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "These Two Women Both ‘Carried’ Their Baby Using Reciprocal Effortless IVF," 16 Nov. 2018 The disorder is probably caused by a mixture of genetic and environmental risk factors, including the environment of the uterus during pregnancy. Mark Lieber, CNN, "Pregnancy complications might 'turn on' schizophrenia genes, study says," 30 May 2018 Researchers collected cervical fluid samples with a Pap smear brush and a slightly longer tool called a Tao brush, which reaches beyond the cervix and into the uterus, nearer to where ovarian and endometrial cancers take hold. Melissa Healy, Washington Post, "Modified Pap smears provide early detection for two deadly gynecologic cancers," 24 Mar. 2018 Ultimately, Laney's uterus ruptured, which means the organ's abdominal cavity wall tore open. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "Walker Hayes and His Wife Laney Open Up About Their Newborn Daughter's Heartbreaking Death," 22 Aug. 2018 The first successful birth from a transplanted uterus took place in 2014 in Sweden followed by the first in the U.S. in November. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Transplanted Wombs Provide Potential Path to Fertility for Millions of Women," 18 June 2018 By definition, the endometriosis is outside the uterus. Katie Heaney, The Cut, "An Endometriosis Expert on Why Lena Dunham’s Hysterectomy Is Unusual," 15 Feb. 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

14 Jan 2019

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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 \
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 \
plural uteri\ -​ˌrī \ 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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What made you want to look up uterus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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