- 1[countable] a small oval object with a thin hard shell produced by a female bird and containing a young bird; a similar object produced by a female fish, insect, etc. The female sits on the eggs until they hatch. The fish lay thousands of eggs at one time. crocodile eggs Topic CollocationsThe Living Worldanimals animals mate/breed/reproduce/feed (on something) fish/amphibians swim/spawn (= lay eggs) birds fly/migrate/nest/sing insects crawl/fly/bite/sting insects/bees/locusts swarm bees collect/gather nectar/pollen spiders spin/weave a web snakes/lizards shed their skins bears/hedgehogs/frogs hibernate insect larvae grow/develop/pupate an egg/a chick/a larva hatches attract/find/choose a mate produce/release eggs/sperm lay/fertilize/incubate/hatch eggs inhabit a forest/a reef/the coast mark/enter/defend (a) territory stalk/hunt/capture/catch/kill preyplants and fungi trees/plants grow/bloom/blossom/flower a seed germinates/sprouts leaves/buds/roots/shoots appear/develop/form flower buds swell/open a fungus grows/spreads/colonizes something pollinate/fertilize a flower/plant produce/release/spread/disperse pollen/seeds/spores produce/bear fruit develop/grow/form roots/shoots/leaves provide/supply/absorb/extract/release nutrients perform/increase/reduce photosynthesisbacteria and viruses bacteria/microbes/viruses grow/spread/multiply bacteria/microbes live/thrive in/on something bacteria/microbes/viruses evolve/colonize something/cause disease bacteria break something down/convert something (into something) a virus enters/invades something/the body a virus mutates/evolves/replicates (itself) be infected with/contaminated with/exposed to a new strain of a virus/drug-resistant bacteria contain/carry/harbor bacteria/a virus kill/destroy/eliminate harmful/deadly bacteria
- 2 [countable, uncountable] a bird's egg, especially one from a chicken, that is eaten as food a hard-boiled egg bacon and eggs fried/poached/scrambled eggs Bind the mixture together with a little beaten egg. You have egg on your shirt. egg yolks/whites egg noodles duck/quail eggs a chocolate egg (= made from chocolate in the shape of an egg) see also Easter egg
- 3[countable] (in women and female animals) a cell that combines with a sperm to create a baby or young animal synonym ovum The male sperm fertilizes the female egg. an egg donor see also nest egg Idioms
nounjump to other results
a situation in which it is difficult to tell which one of two things was the cause of the other
a chicken-and-egg situation, problem, etc.jump to other results
a person who you can rely on to behave well
a good egg (old-fashioned) (informal)jump to other results
to be made to look stupid They were left with egg on their faces when only ten people showed up.
have egg on your face (informal)jump to other results
to destroy something that would make you rich, successful, etc.
kill the goose that lays the golden egg/eggs (saying)jump to other results
to rely on one particular course of action for success rather than giving yourself several different possibilities I applied for seven jobs. I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket.
put all your eggs in one basketjump to other results
you cannot achieve something important without causing a few small problems
you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs (saying)jump to other results