[zahy-goht, zig-oht]

Origin of zygote

1885–90; < Greek zygōtós yoked, equivalent to zygō-, variant stem of zygoûn to yoke, join together (derivative of zygón yoke1) + -tos adj. suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for zygote

Historical Examples of zygote

British Dictionary definitions for zygote


  1. the cell resulting from the union of an ovum and a spermatozoon
  2. the organism that develops from such a cell
Derived Formszygotic (zaɪˈɡɒtɪk, zɪ-), adjectivezygotically, adverb

Word Origin for zygote

C19: from Greek zugōtos yoked, from zugoun to yoke
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 zygote

1880, coined 1878 by German cytologist Eduard Strasburger (1844-1912), the widespread attribution to William Bateson being apparently erroneous; from Greek zygotos "yoked," from zygon "yoke" (see jugular).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zygote in Medicine


  1. The cell that is formed by the union of two gametes, especially a fertilized ovum before cleavage.
  2. The organism that develops from a zygote.
Related formszy•gotic (-gŏtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

zygote in Science


  1. The cell formed by the union of the nuclei of two reproductive cells (gametes), especially a fertilized egg cell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

zygote in Culture



The single cell that results from fertilization of an ovum by a sperm. After dividing several times, it implants in the uterus. It continues to divide, producing more cells and passing through the stages of embryo and fetus.

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.