Etymology
Advertisement

placenta (n.)

1670s of plants, "part of the ovary of flowering plants which bears the ovules," 1690s of mammals, "organ of attachment of a vertebrate embryo or fetus to the wall of the uterus or womb of the female," 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.

updated on June 30, 2020

Advertisement
Advertisement
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;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.