[verb in-vaj-uh-neyt; adjective in-vaj-uh-nit, -neyt]
verb (used with object), in·vag·i·nat·ed, in·vag·i·nat·ing.
  1. to insert or receive, as into a sheath; sheathe.
  2. to fold or draw (a tubular organ) back within itself; intussuscept.
verb (used without object), in·vag·i·nat·ed, in·vag·i·nat·ing.
  1. to become invaginated; undergo invagination.
  2. to form a pocket by turning in.
  1. folded or turned back upon itself.
  2. sheathed.

Origin of invaginate

1650–60; < Medieval Latin invāgīnātus, past participle of invāgīnāre to sheathe. See in-2, vaginate
Related formsun·in·vag·i·nat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for invaginate


verb (ɪnˈvædʒɪˌneɪt)
  1. pathol to push one section of (a tubular organ or part) back into itself so that it becomes ensheathed; intussuscept
  2. (intr) (of the outer layer of an organism or part) to undergo invagination
adjective (ɪnˈvædʒɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)
  1. (of an organ or part) folded back upon itself
Derived Formsinvaginable, adjective

Word Origin for invaginate

C19: from Medieval Latin invāgīnāre, from Latin in- ² + vāgīna sheath
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 invaginate

1650s, from Medieval Latin invaginatus, past participle of invaginare "to put into a sheath," from Latin in- "in" (see in- (2)) + vagina "a sheath" (see vagina). Related: Invaginated; invagination.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

invaginate in Medicine


  1. To infold or become infolded so as to form a hollow space within a previously solid structure, as in the formation of a gastrula from a blastula.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.