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[oh-veyt] /ˈoʊ veɪt/
  1. having a shape like the longitudinal section of an egg.
  2. having such a shape with the broader end at the base, as a leaf.
Origin of ovate
1750-60; < Latin ōvātus, equivalent to ōv(um) egg1 + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
ovately, adverb
semiovate, adjective
subovate, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ovate
  • The solitary, nodding flower with an unpleasant odor rises on a stalk above a whorl of three broadly ovate, diamond-shaped leaves.
  • All the leaves that stand above the water are lanceolate to elliptic to ovate.
  • The opposite stem leaves are lance-shaped to narrowly ovate and coarsely serrated.
  • The ovate to nearly cordate leaves are alternate, simple, darker green above and paler below with small regular teeth.
  • ovate, opposite leaves about two inches long and an inch wide clasp the stem.
  • Leaf shape is ovate to obovate with a truncate apex.
British Dictionary definitions for ovate


shaped like an egg
(esp of a leaf) shaped like the longitudinal section of an egg, with the broader end at the base Compare obovate
Derived Forms
ovately, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Latin ōvātus egg-shaped; see ovum
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 ovate

1723, from assumed Latin plural Ovates, from Greek Ouateis "soothsayers, prophets," mentioned by Strabo as a third order in the Gaulish hierarchy, from Proto-Celtic *vateis, plural of *vatis, cognate with Latin vatis, Old Irish faith, Welsh ofydd. The modern word, and the artificial senses attached to it, are from the 18c. Celtic revival and the word appears first in Henry Rowlands.


1760, from Latin ovatus "egg-shaped," from ovum "egg" (see ovum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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