Definitions for placentapləˈsɛn tə

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word placenta

Princeton's WordNet

  1. placenta(noun)

    that part of the ovary of a flowering plant where the ovules form

  2. placenta(noun)

    the vascular structure in the uterus of most mammals providing oxygen and nutrients for and transferring wastes from the developing fetus


  1. placenta(Noun)

    A vascular organ in mammals, except monotremes and marsupials, present only in the female during gestation. It supplies food and oxygen from the mother to the foetus, and passes back waste. It is implanted in the wall of the uterus and links to the foetus through the umbilical cord. It is expelled after birth.

  2. placenta(Noun)

    In flowering plants, the part of the ovary where ovules develop; in non-flowering plants where the spores develop.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Placenta(noun)

    the vascular appendage which connects the fetus with the parent, and is cast off in parturition with the afterbirth

  2. Placenta(noun)

    the part of a pistil or fruit to which the ovules or seeds are attached

  3. Origin: [L., a cake, Gr. a flat cake, from flat, fr. , , anything flat and broad.]


  1. Placenta

    The placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination, and gas exchange via the mother's blood supply. "True" placentas are a defining characteristic of eutherian or "placental" mammals, but are also found in some snakes and lizards with varying levels of development up to mammalian levels. Note, however, that the homology of such structures in various viviparous organisms is debatable at best and, in invertebrates such as Arthropoda, is definitely analogous at best. The word placenta comes from the Latin word for cake, from Greek plakóenta/plakoúnta, accusative of plakóeis/plakoús – πλακόεις, πλακούς, "flat, slab-like", in reference to its round, flat appearance in humans. The classical plural is placentae, but the form placentas is common in modern English and probably has the wider currency at present. In pre-Roman languages of tribal cultures, the placenta is often referred to the "little mother" or "grandmother," reflective of cultural values that revered the life mystery inherent in the childbearing process which bears fruit in the form of a child. Prototherial and metatherial mammals produce a choriovitelline placenta that, while connected to the uterine wall, provides nutrients mainly derived from the egg sac.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Placenta

    A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (CHORIONIC VILLI) derived from TROPHOBLASTS and a maternal portion (DECIDUA) derived from the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (PLACENTAL HORMONES).

Editors Contribution

  1. placenta

    The placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall of a female human, mammal and other organisms transferring oxygen and nutrients from mother to fetus.

    Placentas are a defining characteristic of placental mammals, but are also found in some non-mammals with varying levels of development. The homology of such structures in various viviparous organisms is debatable and, in invertebrates such as Arthropoda, is analogous at best.

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Denis Viljoen:

    It's rapidly absorbed and crosses the placenta.

  2. John Berger:

    The past grows gradually around one, like a placenta for dying.

  3. Jenna LoGiudice:

    The infant will receive about half the iron and stem cell-rich blood that was left in the placenta.

  4. Sheryl Ross:

    The sooner you deliver the placenta, the sooner the uterus will clamp down and there will be less of a concern.

  5. Marcos Espinal:

    We don't know yet if this virus crosses the placenta and generates or causes microcephaly. We think it plays a role. There's no doubt about that.

Images & Illustrations of placenta

Translations for placenta

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for placenta »


Find a translation for the placenta definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these placenta definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"placenta." STANDS4 LLC, 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for placenta? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for placenta:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.