AskDefine | Define womb

The Collaborative Dictionary

Womb \Womb\, v. t. To inclose in a womb, or as in a womb; to breed or hold in secret. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]
Womb \Womb\ (w[=oo]m), n. [OE. wombe, wambe, AS. wamb, womb; akin to D. wam belly, OS. & OHG. wamba, G. wamme, wampe, Icel. v["o]mb, Sw. v[*a]mb, Dan. vom, Goth. wamba.]
The belly; the abdomen. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] And he coveted to fill his woman of the cods that the hogs eat, and no man gave him. --Wyclif (Luke xv. 16). [1913 Webster] An I had but a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes me. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
(Anat.) The uterus. See Uterus. [1913 Webster]
The place where anything is generated or produced. [1913 Webster] The womb of earth the genial seed receives. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]
Any cavity containing and enveloping anything. [1913 Webster] The center spike of gold Which burns deep in the bluebell's womb. --R. Browning. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

womb n : a hollow muscular organ in the pelvic cavity of females; contains the developing fetus [syn: uterus]

Moby Thesaurus

bag, ballocks, balls, basket, beard, breasts, cervix, clitoris, cod, cods, cullions, family jewels, female organs, genitalia, genitals, gonads, labia, labia majora, labia minora, lingam, lips, male organs, matrix, meat, nuts, nymphae, ovary, penis, phallus, private parts, privates, privy parts, pubic hair, pudenda, reproductive organs, rocks, scrotum, secondary sex characteristic, sex organs, spermary, testes, testicles, uterus, vagina, venter, vulva, yoni




  1. In female mammals, the organ in which the young are conceived and grow until birth.
  2. A place where something is made or formed.
  1. The belly.
    fruit of the womb



organ in mammals
figuratively: place where something is made or formed
  • Finnish: kehto
  • French: moule
  • Italian: grembo
See belly
The uterus (from the Latin word for womb) is the major female reproductive organ of most mammals, including humans. One end, the cervix, opens into the vagina; the other is connected on both sides to the Fallopian tubes. The term uterus is commonly used within the medical and related professions, whilst womb is in more common usage. The plural of uterus is uteruses or uteri.


The main function of the uterus is to accept a fertilized ovum which becomes implanted into the endometrium, and derives nourishment from blood vessels which develop exclusively for this purpose. The fertilized ovum becomes an embryo, develops into a fetus and gestates until childbirth. Due to anatomical barriers such as the pelvis, the uterus is pushed partially into the abdomen due to its expansion during pregnancy. Even during pregnancy the mass of a human uterus amounts to only about a kilogram (2.2 pounds).

Forms in mammals

In mammals, the four main forms in which it is found are:; Bicornuate : Found in pigs, cats, and dogs.; Duplex : Found in rodents (such as mice, rats and guinea pigs), marsupials and lagomorpha (rabbits and hares).


The uterus is located inside the pelvis immediately dorsal (and usually somewhat rostral) to the urinary bladder and ventral to the rectum. Outside of pregnancy, its size in humans is several centimeters in diameter. The uterus is a pear shaped muslcular organ which can be divided anatomically into four segments: The fundus, corpus, cervix and the internal os.


From outside to inside, the path to the uterus is as follows:


The layers, from innermost to outermost, are as follows:; Myometrium : The uterus mostly consists of smooth muscle, known as "myometrium." The innermost layer of myometrium is known as the junctional zone, which becomes thickened in adenomyosis.; Peritoneum : The uterus is surrounded by "peritoneum."


The uterus is primarily supported by the pelvic diaphragm and the urogenital diaphragm. Secondarily, it is supported by ligaments and the peritoneum (broad ligament of uterus)

Major ligaments

It is held in place by several peritoneal ligaments, of which the following are the most important (there are two of each):
Other named ligaments near the uterus, i.e. the broad ligament, the round ligament, the suspensory ligament of the ovary, the infundibulopelvic ligament, have no role in the support of the uterus.


Under normal circumstances the uterus is both "anteflexed" and "anteverted." The meaning of these terms are described below:


The bilateral Müllerian ducts form during early fetal life. In males, MIF secreted from the testes leads to their regression. In females these ducts give rise to the Fallopian tubes and the uterus. In humans the lower segments of the two ducts fuse to form a single uterus, however, in cases of uterine malformations this development may be disturbed. The different uterine forms in various mammals are due to various degrees of fusion of the two Müllerian ducts.


Some pathological states include:

Additional images

Image:Scheme_female_reproductive_system-en.svg|Schematic frontal view of female anatomy Image:Illu cervix.jpg|Uterus and uterine tubes. Image:Illu icd o codes.jpg


External links

womb in Arabic: رحم
womb in Min Nan: Seⁿ-kiáⁿ-tē
womb in Bosnian: Materica
womb in Bulgarian: Матка
womb in Catalan: Úter
womb in Czech: Děloha
womb in Welsh: Croth
womb in Danish: Livmoder
womb in Pennsylvania German: Mudder (Uterus)
womb in German: Gebärmutter
womb in Dhivehi: ރަހިމު
womb in Estonian: Emakas
womb in Spanish: Útero
womb in Esperanto: Utero
womb in French: Utérus
womb in Scottish Gaelic: Machlag
womb in Galician: Útero
womb in Hindi: गर्भ
womb in Croatian: Maternica
womb in Indonesian: Rahim (anatomi)
womb in Italian: Utero
womb in Hebrew: רחם
womb in Kurdish: Malzarok
womb in Latin: Uterus
womb in Lithuanian: Gimda
womb in Hungarian: Méh (szerv)
womb in Malayalam: ഗര്‍ഭപാത്രം
womb in Marathi: गर्भाशय
womb in Dutch: Baarmoeder
womb in Japanese: 子宮
womb in Norwegian: Livmor
womb in Occitan (post 1500): Utèr
womb in Polish: Macica
womb in Portuguese: Útero
womb in Romanian: Uter
womb in Quechua: Kisma
womb in Russian: Матка женщины
womb in Simple English: Uterus
womb in Slovak: Maternica
womb in Slovenian: Maternica
womb in Serbian: Материца
womb in Serbo-Croatian: Materica
womb in Sundanese: Rahim (anatomi)
womb in Finnish: Kohtu
womb in Swedish: Livmoder
womb in Tamil: கருப்பை
womb in Telugu: గర్భాశయం
womb in Turkish: Rahim
womb in Ukrainian: Матка
womb in Yiddish: רחם
womb in Chinese: 子宫
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