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

  • n. The unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate having a basic structural resemblance to the adult animal.
  • n. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An unborn or unhatched vertebrate showing signs of the mature animal.
  • n. A human embryo after the 8th week of gestation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The young or embryo of a vertebrate animal in the womb, or in the egg; often restricted to the later stages in the development of viviparous and oviparous animals. showing the main recognizable features of the mature animal, embryo being applied to the earlier stages.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The young of viviparous animals in the womb, and of oviparous animals in the egg; the embryo in the later stage of development. see embryo. Also spelled fœus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an unborn or unhatched vertebrate in the later stages of development showing the main recognizable features of the mature animal


Middle English, from Latin fētus, offspring; see dhē(i)- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fētus ("offspring"). (Wiktionary)



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