Definition of fovea in US English:


(also fovea centralis)


  • A small depression in the retina of the eye where visual acuity is highest. The center of the field of vision is focused in this region, where retinal cones are particularly concentrated.

    • ‘The central retina, or macula, and the centermost macula, or fovea, exhibit structural and cellular specializations for fine central acuity.’
    • ‘The fovea creates the most finely detailed vision for such daily tasks as reading, threading a needle, or driving a car.’
    • ‘Multiple bodies associated with synovial chondromatosis often adhere to the synovium around the fovea and must be morseled before removal by arthroscopy.’
    • ‘When we gaze directly at an object, we hold our eyes in such a position that the image of the object falls on the central, specialized region of the retina - the fovea or macula - where visual acuity and colour vision are best.’
    • ‘The cones are concentrated in the center of the back of the eye, at its most sensitive region, called the fovea.’


Late 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘small pit’.