foramen ovaleforamen o·val·e
the small, oval opening in the wall that separates the atria of the heart in a normal fetus: it allows blood to bypass the nonfunctioning fetal lungs until the time of birth when it gradually closes up
Origin of foramen ovaleModL, oval opening
An opening in the septum between the right and left atria of the heart, present in the fetus but usually closed soon after birth.
Origin of foramen ovaleNew Latin foramen &omacron;vale : Latin foramen, opening + Medieval Latin &omacron;vale, neuter of &omacron;valis, oval.