adjective Embryology.

of, relating to, or having the character of a fetus.

Nearby words

  1. festus,
  2. festy,
  3. fet,
  4. fet-,
  5. feta,
  6. fetal age,
  7. fetal alcohol spectrum disorder,
  8. fetal alcohol syndrome,
  9. fetal aspiration syndrome,
  10. fetal diagnosis

Also especially British, foe·tal.

Origin of fetal

First recorded in 1805–15; fet(us) + -al1

Related formspost·fe·tal, adjectivepost·foe·tal, adjective

Can be confusedfatal fateful fetal (see synonym study at fatal)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fetal

British Dictionary definitions for fetal




of, relating to, or resembling a fetus
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 fetal



1811, from fetus + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for fetal




Of, relating to, or being a fetus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for fetal



The unborn offspring of a mammal at the later stages of its development, especially a human from eight weeks after fertilization to its birth. In a fetus, all major body organs are present.
Related formsfetal adjective

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.