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[oh-vuh-ree] /ˈoʊ və ri/
noun, plural ovaries.
Anatomy, Zoology. the female gonad or reproductive gland, in which the ova and the hormones that regulate female secondary sex characteristics develop.
Botany. the enlarged lower part of the pistil in angiospermous plants, enclosing the ovules or young seeds.
Origin of ovary
1650-60; < New Latin ōvārium. See ovum, -ary
Related forms
pseudovary, noun, plural pseudovaries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ovaries
  • If a prized mare dies unexpectedly, the eggs from her ovaries can be harvested quickly and stored.
  • The ova are developed from the primitive germ cells which are imbedded in the substance of the ovaries.
  • When the ova are discharged from the ovaries they are carried to the uterine cavity through the uterine tubes.
  • Then, as if reaching into a pumpkin with its lid cut free, he pulls out the beagle's uterus and ovaries.
  • By the time it appears in the ovaries, the disease has already progressed.
  • Eighty percent of patients don't find out they have it until it's spread beyond the ovaries.
  • The article will not be about me, it will be about my ovaries.
  • Underneath it is an even rarer and subtler tidbit made of the ovaries of live sea slugs.
  • In the nineteenth century, it was thought that the ovaries compete with the brain for developmental energy.
  • The ovaries are loosely tethered to the spine by their elongated blood supply, and ligaments connect them to the uterus.
British Dictionary definitions for ovaries


noun (pl) -ries
either of the two female reproductive organs, which produce ova and secrete oestrogen hormones
the corresponding organ in vertebrate and invertebrate animals
(botany) the hollow basal region of a carpel containing one or more ovules. In some plants the carpels are united to form a single compound ovary
Derived Forms
ovarian (əʊˈvɛərɪən) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin ōvārium, from Latin ōvum 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 ovaries



1650s, from Modern Latin ovarium "ovary" (16c.), from Medieval Latin ovaria "the ovary of a bird" (13c.), from Latin ovum "egg," from PIE *owyo-/*oyyo- "egg" (see egg (n.)). In classical Latin, ovarius meant "egg-keeper."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ovaries in Medicine

ovary o·va·ry (ō'və-rē)
One of the paired female reproductive organs that produce ova and certain sex hormones, including estrogen. Also called oophoron.

o·var'i·an (ō-vâr'ē-ən) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ovaries in Science
  1. The reproductive organ in female animals that produces eggs and the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. In most vertebrate animals, the ovaries occur in pairs. In mammals, the ovaries contain numerous follicles, which house the developing eggs (oocytes). See more at menstrual cycle, ovulation.

  2. The part of a carpel or of a gynoecium made of fused carpels that contains the ovules in a flower. The ovary is located at the base of the carpel and ripens into a fruit after fertilization of one or more of the ovules. See more at flower.

ovarian adjective (ō-vâr'ē-ən)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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ovaries in Culture

ovaries definition

sing. ovary

The paired organs in the female reproductive system that produce ova and release certain hormones, such as estrogen.

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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