Definition of ovum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈōvəm/

noun (plural ova /ˈōvə/)

A mature female reproductive cell, especially of a human or other animal, that can divide to give rise to an embryo usually only after fertilization by a male cell.
Example sentences
  • There are a few exceptions to this pattern, most famously in seahorses where females have an ovipositor which places unfertilized ova into the male's pouch for insemination.
  • When a human sperm fertilizes a human ovum, a single cell is created with the potential to grow into a human person.
  • An ovum (plural ova) is a mature egg released at ovulation.


Early 18th century: from Latin, literally 'egg'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·vum

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