[ feet-l ]
/ ˈfit l /

adjective Embryology.

of, relating to, or having the character of a fetus.
Also especially British, foe·tal.

Origin of fetal

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

Related forms

post·fe·tal, adjectivepost·foe·tal, adjective

Can be confused

fatal 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



/ (ˈfiːtəl) /


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

Medicine definitions for fetal


[ fētl ]


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


[ fētəs ]

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 forms

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