Fetus: Words Have Meanings

Baby, Development, Pregnancy, Fetus, Abortion, Language

In the English language, the word fetus is defined as: “a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth” [1].

This definition alone recognizes the fact that a fetus is a human. Even though this human is not yet fully developed, the preborn fetus is a living member of the human species.

It is also interesting to note that, in Latin, “fetus” means “little one,” referring to the relatively small size of the preborn baby.

In other words, the meaning of the word fetus provides a description of how babies appear to us in the early stages of development. And as we know, there are many other stages in human development as well: infant, toddler, etc.

There is not a single one of these stages in which the developing life should be thought of as a mere blob of cells.

The word fetus has been used for such a long time for a reason. It provides an apt description for the life growing inside the mother; the preborn life is human, and deserving of the same right to have its life protected that all people deserve.



[1] Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (2011). “Fetus.” Merriam-Webster, 2011. Web. 19 Jun 2011. 


6 thoughts on “Fetus: Words Have Meanings

  1. as a classics major, i’m going to call complete bullshit on this. no one dictionary lists it as “little one”. fetus literally has the exact same function as it does in english. you don’t even really need to translate it in latin, and if you do you’re probably not staying true to the text. the ONLY way it could ever conceivably be translated as little one is if a poet was using it in a metaphor. it can mean brood, if you want to use it for your rhetoric, but this is just completely made up. really, did you even consult a latin dictionary? i have many, and the first entry is embryo on each one. here’s an entry from william whitaker’s words (online parsing software using lewis and short as a reference)
    fetus, fetus N (4th) M [XXXAO]
    offspring/young (animals); children (of a parent); brood/litter;
    fetus/fetus, young while still in the womb; embryo (Cal);
    birth/bringing forth young; laying (egg); bearing young, breeding; conception;
    fruit of plant; produce/crop; offshoot/branch/sucker/sapling; bearing fruit;
    fet.us ADJ 1 1 NOM S M POS
    fetus, feta, fetum ADJ [XXXBO]
    pregnant/breeding (animal); fertile/fruitful; growing/teeming/abounding/full of
    having newly brought forth/given birth/whelped/calved; bearing/reproducing;

  2. It is interesting to see there is a suggestion police dogs should have the same rights as police officers, when looking at their safety and protection, but a foetus does not! Dog= human foetus=?

  3. For Alex “offspring/young (animals); children (of a parent)” Sounds like a “little one” to me. I award you NO points and may God have mercy on your soul.

  4. How about washing away all the blood and just call abortion on demand what it is,,, The taking of innocent blood or MURDER and anyone who is involved, no matter what eloquent words it is dressed in, is either lying to themselves, to others or both.

  5. Went to medical school and studied the development of a baby. Blastocyte stage one, Embryo stage two, fetus stage three. This is just something people argue over for religious or political purposes but has no bearing on the medical field or the study of medicine.

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