embryo
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈɛmbɹi.əʊ/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈɛmbɹi.oʊ/
Noun

embryo (plural embryos)

  1. In the reproductive cycle, the stage after the fertilization of the egg that precedes the development into a fetus.
  2. An organism in the earlier stages of development before it emerges from the egg, or before metamorphosis.
  3. In viviparous animals, the young animal's earliest stages in the mother's body
  4. In humans, usually the cell growth up to the end of the seventh week in the mother's body
  5. (botany) A rudimentary plant contained in the seed.
  6. The beginning; the first stage of anything.
    • 1731, Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation
      The company little suspected what a noble work I had then in embryo.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, page 419:
      it dives into the heart of the observed, and there espies evil, as it were, in the first embryo [...]
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