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umbilical cord n.
The flexible cordlike structure connecting a fetus at the navel with the placenta and containing two umbilical arteries and one vein that transport nourishment to the fetus and remove its wastes. Also called funis.
A ropelike structure that connects a developing embryo or fetus to the placenta. The umbilical cord contains the blood vessels that supply the embryo or fetus with nutrients and remove waste products. Connected to the abdomen of the embryo or fetus, the umbilical cord is cut at birth, leaving a small depression — the navel, or “belly button.”
Note: The detaching of the umbilical cord provides a figure of speech for new independence: “He finally cut the umbilical cord and moved out of his parents' home.”
narrow cord of tissue that connects a developing embryo, or fetus, with the placenta (the extra-embryonic tissues responsible for providing nourishment and other life-sustaining functions). In the human fetus, the umbilical cord arises at the belly and by the time of birth is about 2 feet (60 cm) long and 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) in diameter. It contains two umbilical arteries and one umbilical vein, through which the fetal heart pumps blood to and from the placenta, in which exchange of nutrient and waste materials with the circulatory system of the mother takes place. The umbilical vein carries blood oxygenated in the maternal body from the placenta to the fetus, while the umbilical arteries carry deoxygenated blood and fetal wastes from the fetus to the placenta, where they are treated in the maternal body. After birth, the umbilical cord is clamped or tied and is then cut. The stump of the cord that remains attached to the baby withers and falls off after a few days, leaving the circular depression in the abdomen known as the navel.