noun Biology.

  1. the cell produced by the union of two gametes, before it undergoes cleavage.


  1. the cell resulting from the union of an ovum and a spermatozoon
  2. the organism that develops from such a cell

1880, coined 1878 by German cytologist Eduard Strasburger (1844-1912), the widespread attribution to William Bateson being apparently erroneous; from Greek zygotos “yoked,” from zygon “yoke” (see jugular).


  1. The cell that is formed by the union of two gametes, especially a fertilized ovum before cleavage.
  2. The organism that develops from a zygote.

  1. The cell formed by the union of the nuclei of two reproductive cells (gametes), especially a fertilized egg cell.

The single cell that results from fertilization of an ovum by a sperm. After dividing several times, it implants in the uterus. It continues to divide, producing more cells and passing through the stages of embryo and fetus.

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