• synonyms


[vahy-vip-er-uh s, vi-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. Zoology. bringing forth living young rather than eggs, as most mammals and some reptiles and fishes.
  2. Botany. producing seeds that germinate on the plant.

Origin of viviparous

First recorded in 1640–50, viviparous is from the Latin word vīviparus bringing forth living young. See vivi-, -parous
Related formsvi·vip·a·rism, nounviv·i·par·i·ty [viv-uh-par-i-tee, vahy-vuh-] /ˌvɪv əˈpær ɪ ti, ˌvaɪ və-/, vi·vip·a·rous·ness, nounvi·vip·a·rous·ly, adverbnon·viv·i·par·i·ty, nounnon·vi·vip·a·rous, adjectivenon·vi·vip·a·rous·ly, adverbnon·vi·vip·a·rous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for viviparous

Historical Examples

  • Both the viviparous grass and the polygonum are found in England.

    More Science From an Easy Chair

    Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester

  • Does not some Yankee say that the American viviparous aphides are winged?

  • This was observed, and gave rise to the idea that this fish is viviparous.

  • All appear to be viviparous, and the act of parturition is performed in the water.

    Reptiles and Birds

    Louis Figuier

  • Some of them are viviparous, others deposit from eight to twelve globular eggs.

    Reptiles and Birds

    Louis Figuier

British Dictionary definitions for viviparous


  1. (of animals) producing offspring that as embryos develop within and derive nourishment from the body of the female parentCompare oviparous, ovoviviparous
  2. (of plants) producing bulbils or young plants instead of flowers
  3. (of seeds) germinating before separating from the parent plant
Derived Formsviviparity (ˌvɪvɪˈpærɪtɪ), vivipary, viviparism or viviparousness, nounviviparously, 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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for viviparous


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

viviparous in Medicine


(vī-vĭpər-əs, vĭ-)
  1. 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.

viviparous in Science


  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.