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[yoo-ter-uh s] /ˈyu tər əs/
noun, plural uteri
[yoo-tuh-rahy] /ˈyu təˌraɪ/ (Show IPA),
uteruses. Anatomy, Zoology.
the enlarged, muscular, expandable portion of the oviduct in which the fertilized ovum implants and develops or rests during prenatal development; the womb of certain mammals.
Origin of uterus
1605-15; < Latin: the womb, matrix; akin to Greek hystéra womb, Sanskrit udara belly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for uteri


noun (pl) uteri (ˈjuːtəˌraɪ)
(anatomy) a hollow muscular organ lying within the pelvic cavity of female mammals. It houses the developing fetus and by contractions aids in its expulsion at parturition Nontechnical name womb
the corresponding organ in other animals
Word Origin
C17: from Latin; compare Greek hustera womb, hoderos belly, Sanskrit udara belly
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
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Word Origin and History for uteri



1610s, from Latin uterus "womb, belly" (plural uteri), from PIE root *udero- "abdomen, womb, stomach" (cf. Sanskrit udaram "belly," Greek hystera "womb," Lithuanian vederas "sausage, intestines, stomach, lower abdomen," Old Church Slavonic vedro "bucket, barrel," Russian vedro), perhaps originally in PIE "outer, sticking out," shifting to "belly" via "protruding."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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uteri in Medicine

uterus u·ter·us (yōō'tər-əs)
n. pl. u·ter·us·es or u·ter·i (yōō'tə-rī')
A hollow muscular organ consisting of a body, fundus, isthmus, and cervix located in the pelvic cavity of female mammals, in which the fertilized egg implants and develops into the fetus. Also called metra, womb.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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uteri in Science
Plural uteri (y'tə-rī') or uteruses
The hollow, muscular organ of female mammals in which the embryo develops. In most mammals the uterus is divided into two saclike parts, whereas in primates it is a single structure. It lies between the bladder and rectum and is attached to the vagina and the fallopian tubes. During the menstrual cycle (estrus), the lining of the uterus (endometrium) undergoes changes that permit the implantation of a fertilized egg. Also called womb. See more at menstrual cycle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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uteri in Culture
uterus [(yooh-tuh-ruhs)]

A pear-shaped organ in the female reproductive system where the embryo or fetus develops until birth. The strong muscles of the uterus help push the baby out of the mother's body.

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