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Syllabification: fe·tus
Pronunciation: /ˈfēdəs
(British (in nontechnical use) also foetus)

Definition of fetus in English:

noun (plural fetuses)

An unborn offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby 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, unborn baby/child


late Middle English: from Latin, '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 nontechnical use. In technical usage, fetus is now the standard spelling throughout the English-speaking world.

Definition of fetus in:

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