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[es-truh s] /ˈɛs trəs/
noun, Zoology
Also, estrum
[es-truh m] /ˈɛs trəm/ (Show IPA),
oestrus. the period of heat or rut; the period of maximum sexual receptivity of the female.
1885-90; < Latin oestrus oestrus
Related forms
[es-troo-uh l] /ˈɛs tru əl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for estrus
  • In the wild, nature has tied ovulation closely to the availability of food, and in times of scarcity estrus may not occur.
British Dictionary definitions for estrus


/ˈɛstrəs; ˈiːstrəs/
the usual US spelling of oestrus
Derived Forms
estrous, adjective


/ˈiːstrəs; ˈɛstrəs/
a regularly occurring period of sexual receptivity in most female mammals, except humans, during which ovulation occurs and copulation can take place; heat
Derived Forms
oestrous, oestral, (US) estrous, estral, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin oestrus gadfly, hence frenzy, from Greek oistros
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 estrus

1850, "frenzied passion," from Latin oestrus "frenzy, gadfly," from Greek oistros "gadfly, breeze, sting, mad impulse," perhaps from a PIE *eis, forming words denoting passion (cf. Avestan aešma- "anger," Lithuanian aistra "violent passion," Latin ira "anger"). First attested 1890 with specific meaning "rut in animals, heat." Earliest use (1690s) was for "a gadfly." Related: Estrous (1900).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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estrus in Medicine

estrus es·trus or oes·trus (ěs'trəs)
The periodic state of sexual excitement in the female of most mammals, excluding humans, that immediately precedes ovulation and during which the female is most receptive to mating; heat.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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estrus in Science
A regularly recurring period in female mammals other than humans during which the animal is sexually receptive. Estrus occurs around the time of ovulation. Also called heat.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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