A haploid reproductive cell (gamete) produced by the female of a species which, when united with a sperm cell (of the same species) develops into an embryo.

From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.

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.

⇒ 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.



© Webster 1913.

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