• synonyms


[oh-vip-er-uh s]
adjective Zoology.
  1. producing eggs that mature and hatch after being expelled from the body, as birds, most reptiles and fishes, and the monotremes.
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Origin of oviparous

From the Latin word ōviparus, dating back to 1640–50. See ovi-, -parous
Related formso·vi·par·i·ty [oh-vuh-par-i-tee] /ˌoʊ vəˈpær ɪ ti/, o·vip·a·rous·ness, nouno·vip·a·rous·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for oviparous

Historical Examples of oviparous

  • Oviparous: where reproduction is through eggs laid by the female.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • All are oviparous, and bury their eggs, which are hatched by the warmth of the sun.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Most of the Ophidian Reptiles are oviparous, but many are ovo-viviparous.

    Reptiles and Birds

    Louis Figuier

  • Crocodiles are oviparous, and their eggs are provided with resistant shells.

    Reptiles and Birds

    Louis Figuier

  • Serpents are also scaly, and, excepting the viper, oviparous.

British Dictionary definitions for oviparous


  1. (of fishes, reptiles, birds, etc) producing eggs that hatch outside the body of the motherCompare ovoviviparous, viviparous (def. 1)
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Derived Formsoviparity (ˌəʊvɪˈpærɪtɪ), nounoviparously, adverb
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 oviparous


"producing eggs that are hatched outside the body of the female," 1640s, from Latin oviparus, from ovum "egg" (see egg (n.)) + stem of parere "to bring forth" (see pare).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

oviparous in Science


  1. Producing eggs that hatch outside the body. Amphibians, birds, and most insects, fish, and reptiles are oviparous. Compare ovoviviparous viviparous.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.