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.

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

Pronunciation

fetus

/ˈfidəs//ˈfēdəs/