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[oh-vuh m] /ˈoʊ vəm/
noun, plural ova
[oh-vuh] /ˈoʊ və/ (Show IPA)
Cell Biology.
  1. the female reproductive cell or gamete of animals, which is capable of developing, usually only after fertilization, into a new individual.
  2. the female reproductive cell or gamete of plants.
Architecture. an oval ornament, as in an egg-and-dart molding.
1700-10; < Latin ōvum egg1; cognate with Greek ōión Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ovum
  • About every month after menstruation starts, an ovary releases an egg, called an ovum.
  • The ovum remains centered within the jelly so that its upper surface lies slightly below the plane of the water surface.
British Dictionary definitions for ovum


noun (pl) ova (ˈəʊvə)
an unfertilized female gamete; egg cell
Word Origin
from Latin: egg
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ovum

(plural ova), 1706, from Latin ovum "egg," cognate with Greek oon, Old Norse egg, Old English æg, all perhaps from PIE root *awi- (see egg (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ovum in Medicine

ovum o·vum (ō'vəm)
n. pl. o·va (ō'və)
The female reproductive cell or gamete; egg.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ovum in Science
Plural ova
The mature reproductive cell of female animals, produced in the ovaries. See more at egg.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for ovum

in human physiology, single cell released from either of the female reproductive organs, the ovaries, which is capable of developing into a new organism when fertilized (united) with a sperm cell

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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