[luh-noo-goh, -nyoo-]

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.


Origin of lanugo

1670–80; < Latin lānūgō wooliness, down, derivative of lāna wool Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lanugo

Historical Examples of 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


noun plural -gos

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

Medicine definitions for lanugo



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.

Science definitions for lanugo



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.