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Line breaks: fetus
Pronunciation: /ˈfiːtəs
(British (in non-technical use) also foetus)

Definition of fetus in English:

noun (plural fetuses)

An unborn or unhatched offspring of a mammal, in particular, an unborn human more than eight weeks after conception.
Example sentences
  • A small subset of fetuses with large lung lesions will become hydropic, deteriorate rapidly, and die in utero.
  • Feedback is currently being used in a trial of early versus delayed delivery for preterm, growth retarded fetuses.
  • How well a woman and the fetus do during pregnancy depends upon the type of heart problem.
embryo, fertilized egg, unborn baby, unborn child


late Middle English: from Latin fetus 'pregnancy, childbirth, offspring'.


The spelling foetus has no etymological basis but is recorded from the 16th century and until recently was the standard British spelling in both technical and non-technical use. In technical usage fetus is now the standard spelling throughout the English-speaking world, but foetus is still found in British English outside technical contexts.

Definition of fetus in:

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