Definition of amniocentesis in English:


Line breaks: am¦nio|cen¦tesis
Pronunciation: /ˌamnɪəʊsɛnˈtiːsɪs

noun (plural amniocenteses /-siːz/)

  • A process in which amniotic fluid is sampled using a hollow needle inserted into the uterus, to screen for abnormalities in the developing fetus.
    More example sentences
    • The whole process is called an amniocentesis, or amnio, in the vernacular.
    • In amniocentesis, the health care provider inserts a thin needle through the woman's abdomen.
    • Between the 15th and 18th weeks of pregnancy, the mother can also have an amniocentesis to screen for the Tay-Sachs gene.


1950s: from amnion + Greek kentēsis 'pricking' (from kentein 'to prick').

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