- (chiefly Britain) Alternative spelling of
- 1815, Nathaniel Highmore, Case of a Foetus Found in the Abdomen of a Young Man:
- Amongst professional men, who have examined this singular foetus, a variety of opinions and conjectures have been formed, some of which it maybe well to notice.
- 1990, James M. Tanner, Foetus Into Man: Physical Growth from Conception to Maturity, →ISBN, page 40:
- During the last 10 weeks in utero the foetus stores very considerable amounts of energy in the form of fat.
- 2006, Denise Walker, Reproduction, Breathing and Health, →ISBN, page 23:
- The foetus gains all its food and oxygen from the mother during pregnancy.
The form fetus is the primary spelling in the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the scientific community, whereas foetus is still commonly used in the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations. Sometimes considered less correct than fetus and suggested to be abandoned.
- ^ Bernard Towers (1967), “Fetus vs. Foetus”, in Archives of Disease in Childhood, page 224, columns 1–2:
- Cambridge students who have attended my Embryology classes during the past decade will know (if they remember) that our American colleagues are correct (though perhaps unwittingly so) in their spelling of the word fetus. One recognizes that language is like a living organism, and undergoes evolutionary change. […] But there is nothing, except the always interesting ‘history of errors’, to recommend the traditional English and French foetus. […] Fetus was the only spelling in use up to the year 600 a.d. No originality is claimed for the observation that the new spelling was introduced by Isidorus (c. 560-636 a.d.) […] His learning, though considerable, was not really adequate to his purpose, and much that he wrote in, for instance, his twenty-volumed ‘Etymologies’ was erroneous, partly because, as has been noted, his Latin was ‘not pure’. […] Isidorus appears to have been misled by the Greek φοιτός, itself a later corruption of φυτός, a word meaning ‘fertile’. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary (3rd edition 1947) gives only the spelling foetus, and says that ‘the better form with e is almost unknown in use’. […] But Partridge states the true facts quite bluntly, in a way that should give pause to authors and editors alike. It would be a gesture towards Anglo-American entente if Western Europe were to abandon an error that has persisted for over 1300 years.
- ^ Philip Rhodes (1969) Reproductive Physiology for Medical Students:
- A letter to the British Medical Journal of February 18th, 1967, by Professors J. D. Boyd and W. J. Hamilton first drew my attention to the fact that although “foetus” had been used for more than a millennium, the more proper spelling would be “fetus”, derived from the Latin “feo” = I bear. Most of us had considered that “fetus” was an American corruption of our more sanctified spelling. This may well have been so, but in fact the shorter spelling would seem to be etymologically correct. […] I have considered it to be time to revert to the better form.
- Alternative form of
|Case / Gender||Masculine||Feminine||Neuter||Masculine||Feminine||Neuter|
foetus m (genitive foetūs); fourth declension
- Alternative form of