Definition of morula in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmôrələ/ /ˈmɔrələ/ /ˈmärələ/ /ˈmɑrələ/


  • A solid ball of cells resulting from division of a fertilized ovum, and from which a blastula is formed.

    ‘That means that parents who are doing IVF could conceivably agree to have a cell removed from their morula, which could then give rise to a line of stem cells, while the morula developed into an embryo ready for implanting.’
    • ‘Mammalian ova lack any overt asymmetries, and their early cleavages are simple and equal, producing a clump of cells called a morula with no discernible up, down, left, right, back, or front.’
    • ‘The cells of the morula continue to divide by mitosis, and the morula passes down into the uterus.’
    • ‘Would an all-wise, all-knowing creator endow a morula of some twenty-four to ninety-six cells with a soul before it gets safely implanted in a loving mother's womb?’
    • ‘A human embryo is any whole, living member of the species homo sapiens in the embryonic stage, which includes the stages of zygote, morula, and blastocyst.’


Early 19th century (in the sense ‘yaws’): modern Latin, diminutive of Latin morum ‘mulberry’. The sense ‘a solid ball of cells resulting from division of a fertilized ovum’ dates from the late 19th century and comes via German.