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See more synonyms for ovate on Thesaurus.com
  1. egg-shaped.
  2. Botany.
    1. having a shape like the longitudinal section of an egg.
    2. having such a shape with the broader end at the base, as a leaf.
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Origin of ovate

1750–60; < Latin ōvātus, equivalent to ōv(um) egg1 + -ātus -ate1
Related formso·vate·ly, adverbsem·i·o·vate, adjectivesub·o·vate, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ovate

Historical Examples

  • The cap or head varies in form from rounded to ovate or cone shape.

    The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise

    M. E. Hard

  • Heart-shaped or cordate, similar to ovate, but with a notch at the base.

  • Obovate, same as ovate, but with the stem at the narrow end.

  • The first glume is shorter than the second, ovate, obtuse, 7- to 9-nerved.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

    Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar

  • The fourth glume is as long as the third, ovate, obtuse, paleate.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

    Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar

British Dictionary definitions for ovate


  1. shaped like an egg
  2. (esp of a leaf) shaped like the longitudinal section of an egg, with the broader end at the baseCompare obovate
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Derived Formsovately, adverb

Word Origin

C18: from Latin ōvātus egg-shaped; see ovum
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 ovate


1723, from assumed Latin plural Ovates, from Greek Ouateis "soothsayers, prophets," mentioned by Strabo as a third order in the Gaulish hierarchy, from Proto-Celtic *vateis, plural of *vatis, cognate with Latin vatis, Old Irish faith, Welsh ofydd. The modern word, and the artificial senses attached to it, are from the 18c. Celtic revival and the word appears first in Henry Rowlands.

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1760, from Latin ovatus "egg-shaped," from ovum "egg" (see ovum).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper