• synonyms


noun, plural fo·ve·ae [foh-vee-ee] /ˈfoʊ viˌi/. Biology.
  1. a small pit or depression in a bone or other structure.
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Origin of fovea

1840–50; < Latin: pit
Related formsfo·ve·al, adjectivepost·fo·ve·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for foveae

Historical Examples

  • The name is probably derived from the pits or cellars (foveae) in which the inhabitants store their grain.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 5


British Dictionary definitions for foveae


noun plural -veae (-vɪˌiː)
  1. anatomy any small pit or depression in the surface of a bodily organ or part
  2. See fovea centralis
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Derived Formsfoveal, adjectivefoveate or foveated, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from Latin: a small pit
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 foveae



1849, from Latin fovea "small pit," related to favissae "underground reservoirs;" of unknown origin, perhaps from Etruscan.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

foveae in Medicine


n. pl. fo•ve•ae (-vē-ē′)
  1. A small pit or cuplike depression in a bone or organ.
  2. The fovea centralis.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.