Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Botany A structure in seed plants that consists of the embryo sac surrounded by the nucellus and one or two integuments and that develops into a seed after it is fertilized.
  • noun Zoology A small or immature ovum.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A. little egg: specifically, in anat., physiol., and zoology, an ovulum or ovum, especially a small one, as that of a mammal, or one not yet matured and discharged from the ovary: specifically applied by Haeckel to the ovum or fertilizable but unfertilized egg-cell of the female, conformable with the use of spermule for the male sperm-cell. Its protoplasm is termed by him ovoplasm, and its nucleus ovococcus.
  • noun In botany, a young or rudimentary seed; a peculiar outgrowth or production of the carpel which, upon fertilization and the formation of an embryo within, becomes the seed.
  • noun Some small body like or likened to an ovule: as, an ovule of Naboth. See ovulum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The rudiment of a seed. It grows from a placenta, and consists of a soft nucleus within two delicate coatings. The attached base of the ovule is the hilum, the coatings are united with the nucleus at the chalaza, and their minute orifice is the foramen.
  • noun An ovum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun botany The structure in a plant that develops into a seed after fertilization; the megasporangium of a seed plant with its enclosing integuments.
  • noun zoology An immature ovum in mammals.

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

  • noun a small or immature ovum
  • noun a small body that contains the female germ cell of a plant; develops into a seed after fertilization

Etymologies

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

[New Latin ōvulum, diminutive of Latin ōvum, egg; see awi- in Indo-European roots.]

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