• synonyms


[oh-vuh l]
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  1. having the general form, shape, or outline of an egg; egg-shaped.
  2. ellipsoidal or elliptical.
  1. an object of oval shape.
  2. a body or plane figure that is oval in shape or outline.
  3. an elliptical field or a field on which an elliptical track is laid out, as for athletic contests.
  4. Informal. a football.

Origin of oval

1560–70; < New Latin ōvālis, equivalent to Latin ōv(um) egg1 + -ālis -al1
Related formso·val·ly, adverbo·val·ness, nounhalf-o·val, adjective, nounpseu·do·o·val, adjectivepseu·do·o·val·ly, adverbsem·i·o·val, adjectivesem·i·o·val·ly, adverbsem·i·o·val·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for half-oval

Historical Examples

  • They consist of what are known as half-oval iron strips, and can be had usually at a hardware store or blacksmith shop.

    The Boy Craftsman

    A. Neely Hall

  • It began—this half-oval—in high land among the trees and spread down over a beach to the waters of a tiny cove.

    Angel Island

    Inez Haynes Gillmore

British Dictionary definitions for half-oval


  1. having the shape of an ellipse or ellipsoid
  1. anything that is oval in shape, such as a sports ground
Derived Formsovally, adverbovalness or ovality (əʊˈvælɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin ōvālis, from Latin ōvum egg


  1. the Oval a cricket ground in south London, in the borough of Lambeth
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

Word Origin and History for half-oval



1570s, from Modern Latin ovalis "egg-shaped" (source of French oval, 1540s), literally "of or pertaining to an egg," from Latin ovum "egg" (see ovary). The classical Latin word was ovatus.



1560s, from Middle French ovalle "oval figure," from Medieval Latin ovalis (see oval (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper