[ luh-noo-goh, -nyoo- ]
/ ləˈnu goʊ, -ˈnyu- /

noun, plural la·nu·gos. Biology.

a coat of delicate, downy hairs, especially that with which the human fetus or a newborn infant is covered.



"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
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Origin of lanugo

1670–80; < Latin lānūgō wooliness, down, derivative of lāna wool Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for lanugo

  • Man comes into the world covered almost entirely with lanugo or short fine hair.

    The Races of Man|Joseph Deniker
  • I have included the down on the human body and the lanugo on the foetus as a rudimentary representation of a hairy coat.

British Dictionary definitions for lanugo

/ (ləˈnjuːɡəʊ) /

noun plural -gos

a layer of fine hairs, esp the covering of the human fetus before birth

Derived forms of lanugo

lanuginous (ləˈnjuːdʒɪnəs) or lanuginose, adjectivelanuginousness, noun

Word Origin for lanugo

C17: from Latin: down, from lāna wool
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

Medical definitions for lanugo

[ lə-nōōgō, ]

n. pl. la•nu•gos

The fine, soft hair that grows on a fetus and is present on a newborn.lanugo hair
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for lanugo

[ lə-nōōgō ]

A covering of fine, soft hair or hairlike structures, as on a leaf, insect, or human fetus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.