Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The entry of several sperm into one ovum during fertilization.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The penetration of an ovum by more than one sperm

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Fullness of sperm, or seed; the passage of more than one spermatozoön into the vitellus in the impregnation of the ovum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Impregnation of an ovum by more than one spermatozoön.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • If more than one sperm penetrates an egg a situation called polyspermy, an abnormal embryo results, which would not survive.

    Getting Pregnant

  • Occasionally a second spermatozoön may enter the yolk, thus giving rise to a condition of polyspermy: when this occurs the ovum usually develops in an abnormal manner and gives rise to a monstrosity.

    I. Embryology. 4. Fertilization of the Ovum

  • The ovum's zona pellucida is modified tot block polyspermy.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • Dr Hasson said: 'To avoid the fatal consequences of polyspermy, female reproductive tracts have evolved to become formidable barriers to sperm.

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  • "As soon as the spermatozoön has entered the yolk, the peripheral portion of the latter is transformed into a membrane, the vitelline membrane which prevents the passage of additional spermatozoa. Occasionally a second spermatozoön may enter the yolk, thus giving rise to a condition of polyspermy: when this occurs the ovum usually develops in an abnormal manner and gives rise to a monstrosity."
    - Henry Gray, 'Anatomy of the Human Body', 1918.

    September 20, 2009