noun, plural em·bry·os.
1. the young of a viviparous animal, especially of a mammal, in the early stages of development within the womb, in humans up to the end of the second month. Compare fetus.
2. Botany. the rudimentary plant usually contained in the seed.
3. any multicellular animal in a developmental stage preceding birth or hatching.
4. the beginning or rudimentary stage of anything: He charged that the party policy was socialism in embryo.
Origin: 1580–90; < Medieval Latin embryon-, embryo < Greek émbryon, noun use of neuter of émbryos ingrowing, equivalent to em- em- + bry- (stem of brýein to swell) + -os adj. suffix
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