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in vitro

[in vee-troh]
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adverb, adjective
  1. (of a biological process) made to occur in a laboratory vessel or other controlled experimental environment rather than within a living organism or natural setting.
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Compare in vivo.

Origin of in vitro

First recorded in 1890–95, in vitro is from the Latin word in vitrō literally, in glass

in vitro fertilization

noun
  1. a specialized technique by which an ovum, especially a human one, is fertilized by sperm outside the body, with the resulting embryo later implanted in the uterus for gestation.
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Origin of in vitro fertilization

First recorded in 1970–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples


British Dictionary definitions for in vitro

in vitro

adverb, adjective
  1. (of biological processes or reactions) made to occur outside the living organism in an artificial environment, such as a culture medium
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Word Origin

New Latin, literally: in glass

in vitro fertilization

noun
  1. a technique enabling some women who are unable to conceive to bear children. Egg cells removed from a woman's ovary are fertilized by sperm in vitro; some of the resulting fertilized egg cells are incubated until the blastocyst stage, which are then implanted into her uterusAbbreviation: IVF
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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 in vitro

Latin; "in a test tube, culture dish, etc.;" literally "in glass" (see vitreous).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

in vitro in Medicine

in vitro

(ĭn vētrō)
adj.
  1. In an artificial environment outside a living organism.
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Related formsin vitro adv.

in vitro fertilization

n.
  1. Fertilization of an egg outside the body of a female by the addition of sperm, as a means of producing a zygote.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

in vitro in Science

in vitro

[ĭn vētrō]
  1. In an artificial environment, such as a test tube. Compare in vivo.
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in vitro fertilization

  1. Fertilization of an egg outside the body of a female by the addition of sperm, as a means of producing a zygote.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

in vitro in Culture

in vitro

[(in vee-troh)]

In the laboratory; literally, “in glass” (laboratory experiments are often carried out in glass containers). In vitro conditions are distinguished from conditions that actually apply in nature. (Compare in vivo.)

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Note

In vitro appears in the expression in vitro fertilization, a way of producing human embryos in a laboratory.
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.