embryo

An embryo is an animal in the phase after fertilization but before birth or hatching. Embryos still live in the womb or egg.

Do you remember when you were an embryo? Probably not, because you were just a tiny clump of cells in your mother's womb — you weren't born yet. All animals were embryos at one point: it's a very early stage of life. Another meaning is not as literal: the beginning of an idea could be called an embryo, as in, "My plan for ice-skating robots is still in the embryo stage." That means the idea isn't very developed.

Definitions of embryo
  1. noun
    an animal organism in the early stages of growth and differentiation that in higher forms merge into fetal stages but in lower forms terminate in commencement of larval life
    synonyms: conceptus, fertilized egg
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    types:
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    blastosphere, blastula
    early stage of an embryo produced by cleavage of an ovum; a liquid-filled sphere whose wall is composed of a single layer of cells; during this stage (about eight days after fertilization) implantation in the wall of the uterus occurs
    gastrula
    double-walled stage of the embryo resulting from invagination of the blastula; the outer layer of cells is the ectoderm and the inner layer differentiates into the mesoderm and endoderm
    morula
    a solid mass of blastomeres that forms when the zygote splits; develops into the blastula
    blastocyst, blastodermic vessicle
    the blastula of a placental mammal in which some differentiation of cells has occurred
    type of:
    animal, animate being, beast, brute, creature, fauna
    a living organism characterized by voluntary movement
  2. noun
    (botany) a minute rudimentary plant contained within a seed or an archegonium
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    type of:
    flora, plant, plant life
    (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion
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