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placenta (n.)

1670s of plants, 1690s of mammals, from Modern Latin placenta uterina "uterine cake" (so called 16c. by Italian anatomist Realdo Colombo), from Latin placenta "a cake, flat cake," from Greek plakoenta, accusative of plakoeis "flat," from plax "flat, flat land, surface, plate," from PIE root *plak- (1) "to be flat." So called from the shape.

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Definitions of placenta from WordNet

placenta (n.)
that part of the ovary of a flowering plant where the ovules form;
placenta (n.)
the vascular structure in the uterus of most mammals providing oxygen and nutrients for and transferring wastes from the developing fetus;
From wordnet.princeton.edu