Definition of sperm in English:



  • 1mass noun Semen.

    • ‘If there is a problem with the male partner sperm, then sperm from an anonymous donor may be used.’
    • ‘Instead, says Midkiff, the sperm of male pigs is collected and used to artificially inseminate the sows.’
    • ‘Rakoff's essays about having Hodgkins disease and hunting down the sperm he once donated are classics.’
    • ‘Most importantly, the scrapping of anonymity has no apparent support among parents of children born as a consequence of donated sperm.’
    • ‘Such a narrow window of opportunity in which to use or lose the sperm poses difficult time limits for farmers.’
    • ‘Four women received hormonal treatment and insemination with the husband's sperm.’
    • ‘The judges, however, agreed that Dr Irons didn't steal the sperm.’
    • ‘Because our donor friends lived on the West Coast and we on the East, we had the sperm frozen and shipped to us.’
    • ‘Britain's most senior woman judge granted an order sought by a fertility clinic permitting it to destroy the man's frozen sperm.’
    • ‘Males taking thalidomide should not donate sperm or blood.’
    • ‘What they're doing is, they're going to take her underwear and see if there's other additional sperm on there to see if they can come up with another argument.’
    • ‘Murray was unable to identify who the sperm belonged to.’
    • ‘It's your job to make sure the sperm hits the green icons and avoids the reds.’
    • ‘He agreed, but to save time and also, no doubt, for egotistical reasons, he inseminated all the women with his own sperm.’
    • ‘We cannot determine his thoughts or presume his consent on a range of specific matters relating to the use of his stored sperm.’
    • ‘Sperm banks do a lot more than just freeze and dispense the sperm, you know, they also test for HIV and other diseases, as well as hereditary defects.’
    • ‘Within the bill are sections that make it illegal to sell your sperm or eggs or to receive remuneration for acting as a surrogate mother.’
    • ‘To remove the condom after sex, the outer ring is twisted to keep the sperm inside and the condom is pulled out.’
    • ‘It's those bad boys swinging away down low that produce the two things - testosterone and sperm - that determine what kind of man you are.’
    • ‘Forty percent of the sperm shipped from Mills' clinic is sent to women outside California.’
    semen, seminal fluid, spermatic fluid, seed, ejaculate, emission
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    1. 1.1count noun A spermatozoon.
      • ‘It could be due to blockage of the genital tract at different levels or due to failure of the testes to produce sperms because of the intrinsic problem with the testes.’
      • ‘Hardly a week goes by without some claim that a new form of artificial insemination has been found, or that the marriage of harvested eggs and sperm from dead adults can be used to make babies.’
      • ‘Fertility scientists like Trounson say it is only a matter of time before the technique is also used to develop sperm and eggs cells, making infertility a thing of the past.’
      • ‘But for other people, for people who are on the far right, sperm meeting egg even in a lab, that's life.’
      • ‘Experiments showed that without the protein, a sperm cannot overcome the final obstacle of fusing with the egg before fertilisation takes place.’
      • ‘Kenyon reported that she could double the life spans of nematode worms by removing their germline stem cells - the cells that produce eggs and sperm.’
      • ‘Their IVF treatment started in 1999 and they had four attempts at ICSI - a method which involves injecting a single sperm into the egg.’
      • ‘If the egg is not fertilized by a sperm, the ovary produces less hormone and the lining of the uterus breaks down and menstrual bleeding begins.’
      • ‘Male sterilisation is not immediately effective, and a condom must still be used until an analysis shows there are no sperm left in the semen.’
      • ‘The procedure identifies and sorts sperm into two types determining whether a fertilised egg develops into a male or female embryo.’
      • ‘It energises sperms and helps in their survival in the vaginal canal after ejaculation.’
      • ‘There are many reasons for male infertility, including low sperm count, inactive or incompletely formed sperms and other factors that hamper fertilisation.’
      • ‘When a human sperm fertilizes a human ovum, a single cell is created with the potential to grow into a human person.’
      • ‘Because sperm are living cells, they require a certain type of environment to live.’
      • ‘Japanese scientists have identified a protein on the surface of sperm that's critical for causing the cell membranes of sperm and eggs to fuse.’
      • ‘In the sex cells, the sperms and eggs, chromosomes come in singles.’
      • ‘Hennig is now doing research into how DNA works in the cell after connection of sperms and eggs.’
      • ‘Researchers from Saudi Arabia told scientists meeting in Spain how they had successfully produced embryos from air-dried sperm.’
      • ‘Regular marijuana use can also lead to a decrease in sperm count, as well as an increase in abnormal and immature sperm.’
      • ‘It may be a ‘potential person,’ or have the ability to grow to become a person, but a similar claim could be made for a sperm and an ovum that haven't yet touched each other.’
      semen, seminal fluid, spermatic fluid, seed, ejaculate, emission
      View synonyms
  • 2

    short for sperm whale
    • ‘They claim that after 15 years, many species of whale, particularly the minke and the sperm, have recovered sufficiently so that as many as a couple of thousand a year can be sustainably harvested.’
    1. 2.1
      short for spermaceti or sperm oil


Late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek sperma ‘seed’, from speirein ‘to sow’.