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[vahy-vip-er-uh s, vi-] /vaɪˈvɪp ər əs, vɪ-/
Zoology. bringing forth living young rather than eggs, as most mammals and some reptiles and fishes.
Botany. producing seeds that germinate on the plant.
1640-50; < Latin vīviparus bringing forth living young. See vivi-, -parous
Related forms
viviparism, noun
[viv-uh-par-i-tee, vahy-vuh-] /ˌvɪv əˈpær ɪ ti, ˌvaɪ və-/ (Show IPA),
viviparousness, noun
viviparously, adverb
nonviviparity, noun
nonviviparous, adjective
nonviviparously, adverb
nonviviparousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for viviparity


(of animals) producing offspring that as embryos develop within and derive nourishment from the body of the female parent Compare oviparous, ovoviviparous
(of plants) producing bulbils or young plants instead of flowers
(of seeds) germinating before separating from the parent plant
Derived Forms
viviparity (ˌvɪvɪˈpærɪtɪ), vivipary, viviparism, viviparousness, noun
viviparously, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vīviparus, from vīvus alive + parere to bring forth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for viviparity



1640s, from Late Latin viviparus "bringing forth alive," from Latin vivus "alive, living" + parere "bring forth, bear" (see pare).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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viviparity in Medicine

viviparous vi·vip·a·rous (vī-vĭp'ər-əs, vĭ-)
Giving birth to living offspring that develop within the mother's body as for most mammals.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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viviparity in Science
Giving birth to living young that develop within the mother's body rather than hatching from eggs. All mammals except the monotremes are viviparous. Compare oviparous, ovoviviparous.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for viviparity

retention and growth of the fertilized egg within the maternal body until the young animal, as a larva or newborn, is capable of independent existence. The growing embryo derives continuous nourishment from the mother, usually through a placenta or similar structure. This is the case in most mammals, many reptiles, and a few lower organisms. A more primitive condition, known as ovoviviparity and found in certain snakes, is the simple retention of the egg until it hatches. In this case the embryo derives food from the yolk present in the egg and is not dependent on the mother except for physical protection. Compare oviparity.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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