[ vahy-vip-er-uhs, vi- ]

  1. Zoology. bringing forth living young rather than eggs, as most mammals and some reptiles and fishes.

  2. 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

Other words from viviparous

  • vi·vip·a·rism, noun
  • viv·i·par·i·ty [viv-uh-par-i-tee, vahy-vuh-], /ˌvɪv əˈpær ɪ ti, ˌvaɪ və-/, vi·vip·a·rous·ness, noun
  • vi·vip·a·rous·ly, adverb
  • non·viv·i·par·i·ty, noun
  • non·vi·vip·a·rous, adjective
  • non·vi·vip·a·rous·ly, adverb
  • non·vi·vip·a·rous·ness, noun

Words Nearby viviparous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use viviparous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for viviparous


/ (vɪˈvɪpərəs) /

  1. (of animals) producing offspring that as embryos develop within and derive nourishment from the body of the female parent: Compare oviparous, ovoviviparous

  2. (of plants) producing bulbils or young plants instead of flowers

  1. (of seeds) germinating before separating from the parent plant

Origin of viviparous

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

Derived forms of viviparous

  • viviparity (ˌvɪvɪˈpærɪtɪ), vivipary, viviparism or viviparousness, noun
  • viviparously, 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

Scientific definitions for viviparous


[ vī-vĭpər-əs ]

  1. 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.