Definition of fetus in English:

fetus

(British foetus)

noun

  • An unborn offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception.

    foetus
    and → feto-
    • ‘Those who favour abortion cannot accept that a foetus is a human being, exactly the same as a new born baby is a human being.’
    • ‘Some men have even tried to prevent women having abortions on grounds that the unborn foetus belongs to them.’
    • ‘However, fewer than one percent of fetuses become infected when their mother has a recurrent infection.’
    • ‘How well a woman and the fetus do during pregnancy depends upon the type of heart problem.’
    • ‘The past 20 years have seen rapid advances in the detection of genetic disorders in human fetuses.’
    • ‘The youngest fetus with Down's syndrome in our sample was 22 weeks old at the time of measuring.’
    • ‘Poorly controlled asthma can lead to serious medical problems for pregnant women and their fetuses.’
    • ‘It just happens that she helps a lot of women to abort their unborn fetuses.’
    • ‘Use a barrier contraceptive the first month: female fetuses may be adversely affected.’
    • ‘A small subset of fetuses with large lung lesions will become hydropic, deteriorate rapidly, and die in utero.’
    • ‘Already cloning embryos, using aborted foetuses, gene swapping and gene therapy will mean the long term impacts will be immense on our everyday living.’
    • ‘Alcohol enters the fetus readily through the placenta and is eliminated by maternal metabolism.’
    • ‘It was perceived that they were the African women who could carry a fetus to full term.’
    • ‘Feedback is currently being used in a trial of early versus delayed delivery for preterm, growth retarded fetuses.’
    • ‘After the eighth week of pregnancy, the developing baby is called a foetus.’
    • ‘Not every mother agrees that it is desirable to identify and terminate a fetus with Down's syndrome.’
    • ‘Further pregnancies should then pose no risk to the fetus or mother.’
    • ‘Doctors in China will harvest cells taken from aborted human foetuses which will then be injected into Mr Bell's head and spinal cord.’
    • ‘Developing fetuses, pregnant women, and young children are especially vulnerable.’
    • ‘The woman is likely to be concerned about the risk of medication to the fetus.’
    embryo, fertilized egg, unborn baby, unborn child
    View synonyms

Usage

The spelling foetus has no etymological basis but is recorded from the 16th century and until recently was the standard British spelling in both technical and nontechnical use. In technical usage, fetus is now the standard spelling throughout the English-speaking world

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin, pregnancy, childbirth, offspring.

Pronunciation:

fetus

/ˈfēdəs/