Words related to ovum


Proto-Indo-European root meaning "bird." It also might be the source of *wyo, *yyo, Proto-Indo-European words for "egg."

It forms all or part of: auspex; auspices; auspicious; avian; aviary; aviation; aviator; avicide; aviculture; aviform; caviar; cockney; egg (n.); ocarina; oo-; oocyte; oolite; oology; osprey; ostrich; oval; ovary; ovate (adj.); oviform; oviparous; ovoviviparous; ovoid; ovulate; ovulation; ovule; ovum.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vih, Avestan vish, Latin avis "bird;" Greek aietos "eagle;" Old Church Slavonic aja, Russian jajco, Breton ui, Welsh wy, Greek ōon, Latin ovum, Old Norse egg, Old High German ei, Gothic ada all meaning "egg."

ab ovo 
"from the beginning," Latin, literally "from the egg," from ab "from, away from" (see ab-) + ablative of ovum "egg" (see ovum). The expression is said to refer to the Roman custom of beginning the meal with eggs, as also in the expression ab ovo usque ad mala, "from the egg to the apples" (Horace), hence "from the beginning to the end" (compare early 20c. soup to nuts).
oval (adj.)

"having the longitudinal shape of an egg, elliptical," 1570s, from Modern Latin ovalis "egg-shaped" (source of French oval, 1540s), literally "of or pertaining to an egg," from Latin ovum "egg" (see ovum). The classical Latin word was ovatus (source of ovate (adj.)). Related: Ovalness (1727); ovality (1823).  Oval Office "office of the president of the United States in the White House" has been used since 1942 metonymically for "the presidency."


word-forming element meaning either "of or pertaining to an egg or eggs," from Latin ōvum "egg" (see ovum), or "of or pertaining to sheep," from Latin ovis "sheep" (see ewe).

oviduct (n.)

"a passage for the egg from the ovary of an animal," 1757, from Modern Latin ōviductus (17c.), from ōvī ductus "channel of an egg." For the elements of this, see ovum and PIE root *deuk- "to lead." Related: Oviducal; oviductal.

oviform (adj.)

"egg-shaped," 1680s, from ōvi-, combining form of Latin ōvus "egg" (see ovum) + forma "form, shape" (see form (n.)).

oviparous (adj.)

"producing eggs that are hatched outside the body of the parent" (opposed to viviparous), 1640s, from Late Latin oviparus "that produces eggs, egg-laying," from Latin ōvum "egg" (see ovum) + stem of parire "to bring forth" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). Related: Oviparity.

ovoid (adj.)

"egg-shaped," by 1817, from Modern Latin ōvoīdēs, a hybrid from Latin ōvum "egg" (see ovum) + Greek -oeidēs "like" (see -oid). Related: Ovoidal.

ovoviviparous (adj.)

"producing eggs which are hatched within the body of the parent, but without placental attachment," 1801, from combining form of ovum "egg" + viviparous "bringing forth young alive." It occurs in many reptiles, and some fishes, insects, worms, etc. Related: Ovoviviparity.

ovule (n.)

"a little egg," especially one not yet matured and discharged from the ovary of a female mammal, 1821, from French ovule and directly from Modern Latin ōvulum, literally "small egg," diminutive of Latin ōvum "egg" (see ovum).