Dictionary > Fetus


noun, plural: fetuses
The yet-to-be born mammalian offspring following the embryonic stage, and is still going through further development prior to birth
Following the embryonic stage, the developing young enters the fetal period, which is in the later stages of development prior to birth. The fetal period is when the offspring has taken a recognizable form as its own species. The fetus is also characterized to possess the major organs in contrast to an embryo. Tthe fetal organs though are not yet fully functional and are still undergoing further development.
In humans, the embryo is called a fetus at the ninth week from the time of conception up to the moment of birth. After being born, the offspring is called an infant or a newborn.
Word origin: Latin fetus (offspring, brood)

  • foetus


  • embryo
  • Related term(s):

    • fetal

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