[ eg ]
/ ɛg /


verb (used with object)

to prepare (food) by dipping in beaten egg.

Nearby words

  1. eger,
  2. egeria,
  3. egest,
  4. egesta,
  5. egestion,
  6. egg albumin,
  7. egg and dart,
  8. egg and spoon race,
  9. egg apparatus,
  10. egg case


Origin of egg

before 900; Middle English < Old Norse; replacing Middle English ey, Old English ǣg, German Ei egg; akin to Latin ōvum, Greek ōión egg

Related formsegg·less, adjectiveegg·y, adjective

Pronunciation note

Egg, like beg, leg, and other words where “short e” precedes a “hard g” sound, is pronounced with the vowel [e] /ɛ/ of bet and let, except in parts of New England and the South Midland and southern U.S., where these words are frequently said with [-eyg] /-eɪg/, to rhyme with vague and plague, especially in the speech of the less educated. This raising of [e] /ɛ/ to a higher vowel [ey] /eɪ/, articulated with the upper surface of the tongue closer to the palate, also occurs before [zh] /ʒ/, as in measure, pleasure, and treasure. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for walk on eggs


/ (ɛɡ) /


verb (tr)

to dip (food) in beaten egg before cooking
US informal to throw eggs at

Word Origin for egg

C14: from Old Norse egg; related to Old English ǣg, Old High German ei


/ (ɛɡ) /


(tr usually foll by on) to urge or incite, esp to daring or foolish acts

Word Origin for egg

Old English eggian, from Old Norse eggja to urge; related to Old English ecg edge, Middle Low German eggen to harrow

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 walk on eggs
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for walk on eggs


[ ĕg ]


The female sexual cell or gamete; an ovum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for walk on eggs


[ ĕg ]

The larger, usually nonmotile female reproductive cell of most organisms that reproduce sexually. Eggs are haploid (they have half the number of chromosomes as the other cells in the organism's body). During fertilization, the nucleus of an egg cell fuses with the nucleus of a sperm cell (the male reproductive cell) to form a new diploid organism. In animals, eggs are spherical, covered by a membrane, and usually produced by the ovaries. In some simple aquatic animals, eggs are fertilized and develop outside the body. In some terrestrial animals, such as insects, reptiles and birds, eggs are fertilized inside the body but are incubated outside the body, protected by durable, waterproof membranes (shells) until the young hatch. In mammals, eggs produced in the ovaries are fertilized inside the body and (except in the cases of monotremes) develop in the reproductive tract until birth. The human female fetus possesses all of the eggs that she will ever have; every month after the onset of puberty, one of these eggs matures and is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube, where it is either fertilized or discarded during menstruation. In many plants (such as the bryophytes, ferns, and gymnosperms) eggs are produced by flasked-shaped structures known as archegonia. In gymnosperms and angiosperms, eggs are enclosed within ovules. In angiosperms, the ovules are enclosed within ovaries. See also oogenesis.
In many animals, a structure consisting of this reproductive cell together with nutrients and often a protective covering. The embryo develops within this structure if the reproductive cell is fertilized. The egg is often laid outside the body, but the female of ovoviviparous species may keep it inside the body until after hatching.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for walk on eggs


A female gamete.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with walk on eggs

walk on eggs

Proceed very cautiously, as in I knew I was walking on eggs when I asked about the department's involvement in the lawsuit. This metaphoric idiom transfers walking on fragile eggs to discussing or investigating a dangerous subject. [First half of 1700s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with egg

  • egg in your beer
  • egg on
  • egg on one's face, have

also see:

  • bad egg
  • good egg
  • goose egg
  • kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
  • lay an egg
  • put all one's eggs in one basket
  • walk on eggs
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.