There are 2 main definitions of egg in English:


Line breaks: egg
Pronunciation: /ɛɡ


1An oval or round object laid by a female bird, reptile, fish, or invertebrate, usually containing a developing embryo. The eggs of birds are enclosed in a chalky shell, while those of reptiles are in a leathery membrane.
More example sentences
  • When most birds incubate eggs, the females often produce high levels of prolactin, a hormone involved in parental behavior.
  • Females lay eggs in other birds' nests and leave the rearing to other species.
  • Embryos in the eggs do not begin to develop until their mother warms them through incubation.
1.1An infertile bird’s egg, especially one from a chicken, used for food: scrambled eggs [mass noun]: egg and bacon [as modifier]: an egg sandwich
More example sentences
  • More than three million Brits have tried or are on the controversial diet, which substitutes bread, pasta and potatoes for foods like meat, eggs and cheese.
  • Margaret kept John in order with a healthy diet, eggs from their own chickens, homemade brown bread, jam, and yoghurt.
  • People exist on sausage, bread, eggs, maybe some chicken, things like that.
1.2A thing resembling a bird’s egg in shape: chocolate eggs
More example sentences
  • The tradition of giving a chocolate egg to mark the end of Lent dates back to the 19th century and shows little sign of waning.
  • There are sinful treats such as chocolate eggs, hot cross buns, Easter saffron cake, and ginger cookies.
  • The school held an Easter egg raffle in which more than 50 chocolate eggs were won by pupils, with money raised going towards school funds.
2 Biology The female reproductive cell in animals and plants; an ovum.
More example sentences
  • Scientists said yesterday that they had grown an unlimited supply of eggs from embryonic stem cells taken from both male and female embryos.
  • The cells of the fertilised eggs multiply, growing into embryos in an incubator adjusted to the temperature and carbon dioxide levels of the woman's body.
  • Early experiments on mice have already indicated the possibility of turning stem cells into eggs or sperm which could then be used to help infertile couples.
3 Architecture A decorative oval moulding, used alternately with triangular shapes: [as modifier]: egg and dart moulding
More example sentences
  • The communion table is composed of a beautiful piece of Italian marble, 10 feet long, supported by two bronzed scrolls, and enriched with the honeysuckle and egg mouldings.
  • The eggs are sometimes divided by an anchor or dart, as in the accompanying example.
4 [with adjective] informal , dated A person of a specified kind: the biography portrays him as a thoroughly bad egg
More example sentences
  • It's a shame that one bad egg can ruin it for everyone.
  • Dealing with a really bad egg, Wilson said, gobbles up time.
  • So even though he shows Ray as a heroin addict, philanderer and at times, generally bad egg, he can't quite bring himself to condemn the man for his actions.


Middle English (superseding earlier ey, from Old English ǣg): from Old Norse.


don't put all your eggs in one basket

proverb Don’t risk everything on the success of one venture: we need to be more tactical and not put all our eggs in one political basket
More example sentences
  • Second, granny was right: don't put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Although they violated a fundamental rule of investing - perhaps the fundamental rule of investing, that you don't put all your eggs in one basket - they feel a sense of betrayal, of having been defrauded.
  • Diversify your holdings, so that you don't put all your eggs in one basket - regardless of how carefully you watch that basket.

go suck an egg

[as imperative] North American informal Used as an expression of anger or scorn.
More example sentences
  • If I were you, I'd tell him to go suck an egg and stay out of my way.
  • And anyone who looks down on my dancing because I'm big can just go suck an egg.
  • I am me, and if you don't like it, you can go suck an egg!

kill the goose that lays the golden eggs

Destroy a reliable and valuable source of income: high taxes kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
[with allusion to one of Aesop's fables]
More example sentences
  • By outsourcing American jobs, American companies are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, the American consumer.
  • But what the market makers truly don't seem to understand is that neither people nor markets can be controlled for long, and with every well-intentioned stabilization exercise, they risk killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
  • The important thing today is not the redistribution of the national wealth, but its creation; here Socialism is killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

lay an egg

North American informal Be completely unsuccessful.
More example sentences
  • After laying an egg like this, who is he to cast aspersions at the likes of Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese?
  • The team continued the annual tradition of laying an egg by acquiring a player that they didn't need for more money than he was worth.
  • Upon graduating from Avondale High School for the Performing arts, I went to Clark Atlanta Unviersity and totally laid an egg.

with egg on one's face

informal Appearing foolish or ridiculous: don’t underestimate this team, or you’ll be left with egg on your face
More example sentences
  • There's always a chance of danger from a free-kick or something, and you don't want to end up with egg on your face.
  • If you don't want to end up with egg on your face, you had best approach the whole of today with a pinch of salt.
  • So the Aussies are home and the Irish left with egg on their face.



More example sentences
  • The menu is huge and international (try lasagne verdure, made with eggless spinach pasta, artichoke enchiladas in ranchero sauce or Thai red pepper curry), the wine list is big and deep and the place is stylish, fun and loud.
  • If someone wants to order a special eggless cake, be it Black Forest or with strawberry or custard filling, we can make it for them.
  • The first was a flourless, eggless dark chocolate torte, which had the consistency of the inside of a truffle and was served slightly chilled.

Definition of egg in:

There are 2 main definitions of egg in English:


Line breaks: egg
Pronunciation: /ɛɡ


[with object] (egg someone on)
Encourage someone to do something foolish or risky: he liked to boast and she would egg him on shamelessly
More example sentences
  • The man looked sick, but people around him were egging him on, encouraging him.
  • He rings up bosses where there is a dispute and either eggs them on, or urges them to continue the dispute.
  • Her sister Vanessa egged her on to drive a hard bargain and advised her to withhold the story unless ‘money is paid beforehand’.
urge, goad, incite, provoke, prick, sting, propel, push, drive, prod, prompt, induce, impel, spur on, cheer on;
encourage, exhort, stimulate, motivate, galvanize, act as a stimulus to, act as an incentive to, inspire, stir
North American informal root on, light a fire under


Middle English: from Old Norse eggja 'incite'.

Definition of egg in: