[ vahy-vip-er-uhs, vi- ]
/ vaɪˈvɪp ər əs, vɪ- /
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Zoology. bringing forth living young rather than eggs, as most mammals and some reptiles and fishes.
Botany. producing seeds that germinate on the plant.



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Origin of viviparous

First recorded in 1640–50, viviparous is from the Latin word vīviparus bringing forth living young. See vivi-, -parous


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for viviparous

British Dictionary definitions for viviparous

/ (vɪˈvɪpərəs) /


(of animals) producing offspring that as embryos develop within and derive nourishment from the body of the female parentCompare oviparous, ovoviviparous
(of plants) producing bulbils or young plants instead of flowers
(of seeds) germinating before separating from the parent plant

Derived forms of viviparous

viviparity (ˌvɪvɪˈpærɪtɪ), vivipary, viviparism or viviparousness, nounviviparously, adverb

Word Origin for viviparous

C17: from Latin vīviparus, from vīvus alive + parere to bring forth
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 viviparous

[ vī-vĭpər-əs, vĭ- ]


Giving birth to living offspring that develop within the mother's body as for most mammals.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for viviparous

[ vī-vĭpər-əs ]

Giving birth to living young that develop within the mother's body rather than hatching from eggs. All mammals except the monotremes are viviparous. Compare oviparous ovoviviparous.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.