Definition of embryo noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈembriəʊ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈembrioʊ//
(pl. embryos) Cell biology, Pregnancy
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  • a young animal or plant in the very early stages of development before birth, or before coming out of its egg or seed, especially a human egg in the first eight weeks after fertilization human embryos (figurative) the embryo of an idea an embryo politician (= one who is not yet very experienced) See related entries: Cell biology, Pregnancy
  • Word Originlate Middle English: via late Latin from Greek embruon ‘fetus’, from em- ‘into’ + bruein ‘swell, grow’.Extra examples The couple has produced three embryos for implantation. Two or three embryos are implanted into the woman’s body. frozen embryos stored at a fertility clinic the cells of an early embryo the current debate over cloning human embryosIdioms existing but not yet fully developed The idea already existed in embryo in his earlier novels.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: embryo