Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

fetus

[fee-tuh s]
noun, plural fe·tus·es. Embryology.
  1. (used chiefly of viviparous mammals) the young of an animal in the womb or egg, especially in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation.
Show More
Also especially British, foe·tus.
Compare embryo(def 1).

Origin of fetus

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin fētus bringing forth of young, hence that which is born, offspring, young still in the womb, equivalent to fē- (v. base attested in L only in noun derivatives, as fēmina woman, fēcundus fecund, etc.; compare Greek thēsthai to suck, milk, Old High German tāan to suck, Old Irish denid (he) sucks) + -tus suffix of v. action
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for fetus's

fetus

foetus

noun plural -tuses
  1. the embryo of a mammal in the later stages of development, when it shows all the main recognizable features of the mature animal, esp a human embryo from the end of the second month of pregnancy until birthCompare embryo (def. 2)
Show More

Word Origin for fetus

C14: from Latin: offspring, brood
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 fetus's

fetus

n.

late 14c., "the young while in the womb or egg," from Latin fetus (often, incorrectly, foetus) "the bearing, bringing forth, or hatching of young," from Latin base *fe- "to generate, bear," also "to suck, suckle" (see fecund).

In Latin, fetus sometimes was transferred figuratively to the newborn creature itself, or used in a sense of "offspring, brood" (cf. Horace's "Germania quos horrida parturit Fetus"), but this was not the basic meaning. Also used of plants, in the sense of "fruit, produce, shoot." The spelling foetus is sometimes attempted as a learned Latinism, but it is not historic.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fetus's in Medicine

fetus

(fētəs)
n. pl. fe•tus•es
  1. The unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate having a basic structural resemblance to the adult animal.
  2. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

fetus's in Science

fetus

[fētəs]
  1. 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.
Show More
Related formsfetal adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fetus's in Culture

fetus

The embryo of an animal that bears its young alive (rather than laying eggs). In humans, the embryo is called a fetus after all major body structures have formed; this stage is reached about sixty days after fertilization.

Show More
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.