- The definition of an embryo is an unborn but developing child or animal, or something in the early stages that shows potential for development.
- An example of an embryo is when you have a viable female human egg that has been fertilized with a man's sperm.
- An example of an embryo is the draft of a series of new laws protecting human rights that will be used in the development of a constitution to govern a country where a human rights violation is taking place.
- an animal in the earliest stages of its development in the uterus or the egg, specif., in humans, from conception to about the eighth week
- an early or undeveloped stage of something
- anything in such a stage
- the rudimentary plant contained in a seed, usually made up of hypocotyl, radicle, plumule, and cotyledons
Origin: Middle English embrio ; from Midieval Latin embryo ; from Classical Greek embryon, embryo, fetus, thing newly born, neuter of embryos, growing inch(es) ; from en-, inch(es) plush bryein, to swell, be full
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. em·bry·os
- a. An organism in its early stages of development, especially before it has reached a distinctively recognizable form.b. An organism at any time before full development, birth, or hatching.
- a. The fertilized egg of a vertebrate animal following cleavage.b. In humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development.
- Botany The minute, rudimentary plant contained within a seed or an archegonium.
- A rudimentary or beginning stage: “To its founding fathers, the European [Economic] Community was the embryo of the United States of Europe” (Economist).
Origin: Medieval Latin embryō, from Greek embruon : en-, in; see en-2 + bruein, to be full to bursting.
embryo - Cultural Definition
A developing plant or animal. A plant embryo is an undeveloped plant inside a seed. An animal embryo is the animal as it develops from the single cell of the zygote until birth. Among humans and most other mammals, the embryo is carried in the mother's womb.
- The term is occasionally used to denote a new or developing idea or project: “The idea for the complete theory was already present in his work, in embryo form, in 1950.”
embryo - Medical Definition
noun pl. em·bry·os
- An organism in its early stages of development, especially before it has reached a distinctively recognizable form.
- An organism at any time before full development, birth, or hatching.
- The fertilized egg of a vertebrate animal following cleavage.
- In humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development.
Clockwise from top left: human embryo at five, seven, and eight weeks of development
embryo - Science Definition
- An animal in its earliest stage of development, before all the major body structures are represented. In humans, the embryonic stage lasts through the first eight weeks of pregnancy. In humans, other placental mammals, and other viviparous animals, young born as embryos cannot thrive. In marsupials, the young are born during the embryonic stage and complete their development outside the uterus, attached to a teat within the mother's pouch.
- The developing young of an egg-laying animal before hatching.
- The sporophyte of a plant in its earliest stages of development, such as the miniature, partially developed plant contained within a seed before germination.
- embryonic embryonic adjective
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