fetus

[fee-tuhs]
noun, plural fetuses. Embryology.
(used chiefly of viviparous mammals) the young of an animal in the womb or egg, especially in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation.
Also, especially British, foetus.
Compare embryo ( def 2 ).


Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin fētus bringing forth of young, hence that which is born, offspring, young still in the womb, equivalent to fē- (v. base attested in L only in noun derivatives, as fēmina woman, fēcundus fecund, etc.; compare Greek thēsthai to suck, milk, Old High German tāan to suck, Old Irish denid (he) sucks) + -tus suffix of v. action

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World English Dictionary
fetus or foetus (ˈfiːtəs)
 
n , pl -tuses
Compare embryo the embryo of a mammal in the later stages of development, when it shows all the main recognizable features of the mature animal, esp a human embryo from the end of the second month of pregnancy until birth
 
[C14: from Latin: offspring, brood]
 
foetus or foetus
 
n
 
[C14: from Latin: offspring, brood]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fetus
late 14c., from L. fetus "the bearing, bringing forth, or hatching of young," from L. base *fe- "to generate, bear," also "to suck, suckle" (see fecund). In L., this was sometimes transferred figuratively to the newborn creature itself, or used in a sense of "offspring, brood"
(cf. "Germania quos horrida parturit fetus," Horace), but this was not the basic meaning. Also used of plants, in the sense of "fruit, produce, shoot." The spelling foetus is sometimes attempted as a learned Latinism, but it is not historic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fetus fe·tus (fē'təs)
n. pl. fe·tus·es

  1. The unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate having a basic structural resemblance to the adult animal.

  2. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
fetus   (fē'təs)  Pronunciation Key 
The unborn offspring of a mammal at the later stages of its development, especially a human from eight weeks after fertilization to its birth. In a fetus, all major body organs are present.

fetal adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

fetus definition


The embryo of an animal that bears its young alive (rather than laying eggs). In humans, the embryo is called a fetus after all major body structures have formed; this stage is reached about sixty days after fertilization.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for fetuses
It is transmitted to other dogs through breeding and contact with aborted fetuses.
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