Definition of corpus luteum in English:

corpus luteum

nounPlural corpora lutea

  • A hormone-secreting structure that develops in an ovary after an ovum has been discharged but degenerates after a few days unless pregnancy has begun.

    • ‘It is secreted by the corpus luteum during pregnancy and by the ovaries during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.’
    • ‘In the corpora lutea of the ovary, whirls of long needles are most distinct.’
    • ‘During the last phase, known as the luteal phase (day 15 to the end of the cycle), the follicle collapses and the corpus luteum is formed if pregnancy does not occur.’
    • ‘It also promotes growth of the corpus luteum when the ovary prepares to release the egg into the uterus.’
    • ‘It is generally believed that symptoms result from the waning hormone secretions from the ovaries as the corpus luteum begins to degenerate towards the end of the menstrual cycle.’


Late 18th century: from corpus and Latin luteum, neuter of luteus ‘yellow’.


corpus luteum