Definition of sperm in English:


nounPlural sperms

  • 1mass noun Semen.

    • ‘To remove the condom after sex, the outer ring is twisted to keep the sperm inside and the condom is pulled out.’
    • ‘Instead, says Midkiff, the sperm of male pigs is collected and used to artificially inseminate the sows.’
    • ‘We cannot determine his thoughts or presume his consent on a range of specific matters relating to the use of his stored sperm.’
    • ‘The judges, however, agreed that Dr Irons didn't steal the sperm.’
    • ‘It's your job to make sure the sperm hits the green icons and avoids the reds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He agreed, but to save time and also, no doubt, for egotistical reasons, he inseminated all the women with his own 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.’
    • ‘Murray was unable to identify who the sperm belonged to.’
    • ‘Britain's most senior woman judge granted an order sought by a fertility clinic permitting it to destroy the man's frozen sperm.’
    • ‘Forty percent of the sperm shipped from Mills' clinic is sent to women outside California.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Four women received hormonal treatment and insemination with the husband's sperm.’
    • ‘Rakoff's essays about having Hodgkins disease and hunting down the sperm he once donated are classics.’
    • ‘If there is a problem with the male partner sperm, then sperm from an anonymous donor may be used.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because our donor friends lived on the West Coast and we on the East, we had the sperm frozen and shipped to us.’
    semen, seminal fluid, spermatic fluid, seed, ejaculate, emission
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A spermatozoon.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Their IVF treatment started in 1999 and they had four attempts at ICSI - a method which involves injecting a single sperm into the egg.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the sex cells, the sperms and eggs, chromosomes come in singles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Because sperm are living cells, they require a certain type of environment to live.’
      • ‘But for other people, for people who are on the far right, sperm meeting egg even in a lab, that's life.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Regular marijuana use can also lead to a decrease in sperm count, as well as an increase in abnormal and immature sperm.’
      • ‘There are many reasons for male infertility, including low sperm count, inactive or incompletely formed sperms and other factors that hamper fertilisation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It energises sperms and helps in their survival in the vaginal canal after ejaculation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Experiments showed that without the protein, a sperm cannot overcome the final obstacle of fusing with the egg before fertilisation takes place.’
      • ‘The procedure identifies and sorts sperm into two types determining whether a fertilised egg develops into a male or female embryo.’
      • ‘When a human sperm fertilizes a human ovum, a single cell is created with the potential to grow into a human person.’
      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’.