embryonic state, 1875, Modern Latin, from Greek blastos "sprout, germ" + diminutive ending -ula.
blastula blas·tu·la (blās'chə-lə)
n. pl. blas·tu·las or blas·tu·lae (-lē')
An early embryonic form produced by cleavage of a fertilized ovum and consisting of a spherical layer of cells surrounding a fluid-filled cavity.
The stage of an embryo that consists of just over a hundred cells — a stage reached about one week after fertilization. At this stage the cells are just at the very beginning of cellular differentiation and are said to be totipotent (See totipotency).
Note: This is the stage of development where embryonic stems cells can be harvested for medical research.