Definitions for: Ovum


[n] the female reproductive cell; the female gamete



Webster (1913) Definition: O"vum, n.; pl. L. Ova, E. Ovums. [L., an egg. See
Oval.]
1. (Biol.) A more or less spherical and transparent mass of
granular protoplasm, which by a process of multiplication
and growth develops into a mass of cells, constituting a
new individual like the parent; an egg, spore, germ, or
germ cell. See Illust. of Mycropyle.

Note: The ovum is a typical cell, with a cell wall, cell
substance, nucleus, and nucleolus. In man and the
higher animals the cell wall, a vertically striated
membrane, is called the zona pellucida; the cell
contents, the vitellus; the nucleus, the germinal
vesicle; and the nucleolus, the germinal spot. The
diameter of the ripe ovum in man and the domestic
animals varies between 1-200 and 1-120 of an inch.

2. (Arch.) One of the series of egg-shaped ornaments into
which the ovolo is often carved. --Gwilt.

Synonyms: egg cell

See Also: egg, female reproductive system, gamete, ootid, ovule

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