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foetus

[fee-tuh s]
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noun, plural foe·tus·es.
  1. fetus.
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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.
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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

Examples from the Web for foetus

Historical Examples

  • By the end of the eighth month the foetus has thickened out.

    Sex

    Henry Stanton

  • In some cases the malleus of the foetus differs strikingly from that of the adult.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • On the relative weights of the right and left sides of the body in the foetus.

    Parallel Paths

    Thomas William Rolleston

  • He can not first examine the foetus and then stop the hemorrhage.

  • If the foetus goes on growing in this case, we have an abdominal pregnancy.


British Dictionary definitions for foetus

foetus

noun plural -tuses
  1. a variant spelling of fetus
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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)
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Word Origin

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 foetus

n.

see fetus; for spelling, see oe.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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

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

foetus 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.

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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.