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[ov-yuh-leyt, oh-vyuh-leyt-]
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verb (used without object), ov·u·lat·ed, ov·u·lat·ing. Biology.
  1. to produce and discharge eggs from an ovary or ovarian follicle.

Origin of ovulate

First recorded in 1860–65; ovule + -ate1
Related formsov·u·la·tion, nounov·u·la·to·ry [ov-yuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, oh-vyuh-] /ˈɒv yə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˈoʊ vyə-/, adjectivemul·ti·ov·u·late, adjectivemul·ti·ov·u·lat·ed, adjectivepre·ov·u·la·to·ry, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ovulation


  1. (intr) to produce or discharge eggs from an ovary
Derived Formsovulation, noun

Word Origin

C19: from ovule
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 ovulation


1848, from Modern Latin ovulum (see ovule) + -ation.



1888, back-formation from ovulation. Related: Ovulated; ovulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ovulation in Medicine


(ō′vyə-lāshən, ŏv′yə-)
  1. The discharge of an ovum from the ovary.


vyə-lāt′, ŏvyə-)
  1. To produce ova; discharge eggs from the ovary.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ovulation in Science


[ō′vyə-lāshən, ŏv′yə-lāshən]
  1. The release of an egg cell (ovum) from the ovary in female animals, regulated in mammals by hormones produced by the pituitary gland during the menstrual cycle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ovulation in Culture


[(ov-yuh-lay-shuhn, oh-vyuh-lay-shuhn)]

The periodic release of an ovum from the ovaries (usually from only one ovary). After the ovum is released, it travels into the fallopian tube, and from there is moved to the uterus. Ovulation generally happens approximately two weeks into the menstrual cycle.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.