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Definition of an organism in the early stages of development prior to birth, hatching, or sprouting (i.e., of an embryo)


of anything in an early stage of development
  • The team is doing embryonic stem cell research.
embryonic = of an organism in the early stages of development
  • The idea is still in the embryonic stage.
  • embryonic = in an early stage of development
  • The Internet was still embryonic in the early 1990's, so that kind of information wasn't readily available to most people.
  • embryonic = in an early stage of development
  • It is the man with the growth beneath his chin, a thing with a life of its own, embryonic and pulsing.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • In the firelight, they looked pale and embryonic—a pack of skeletal, ravenous ghouls.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • The embryonic work of the future is one of the visions of philosophy.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • At this embryonic point, the unit moves as a pack, holding on to each other as they cross unfamiliar terrain, sure only of their specialness.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • The first of a batch of two hundred and fifty embryonic rocket-plane engineers was just passing the eleven hundred metre mark on Rack 3.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • The human embryo lay there crouched and cowering, it had a tail— and with its monstrous abdomen, stubby shapeless extremities, and larval face bent down over a bloated belly, it was indistinguishable from an embryonic pig.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • How vividly there still lingers on my palate the suety aftertaste of the Salisbury steak at Bickford's, or Riker's western omelette, in which one night, nearly swooning, I found a greenish, almost incorporeal feather and a tiny embryonic beak.
    William Styron  --  Sophie's Choice
  • Mrs. Almond lived much farther up town, in an embryonic street with a high number—a region where the extension of the city began to assume a theoretic air, where poplars grew beside the pavement (when there was one), and mingled their shade with the steep roofs of desultory Dutch houses, and where pigs and chickens disported themselves in the gutter.
    Henry James  --  Washington Square
  • It was at this time that he began to invite the parties of men of which Miss Goldfield told Quentin, out to Sutpen's Hundred to camp in blankets in the naked rooms of his embryonic formal opulence; they hunted, and at night played cards and drank, and on occasion he doubtless pitted his negroes against one another and perhaps even at this time participated now and then himself—that spectacle which, according to Miss Coldfield, his son was unable to bear the sight of while his daughter...
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • Even after decanting, he's still inside a bottle–an invisible bottle of infantile and embryonic fixations.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • A newborn pup, dark and shiny in its embryonic sac, lay on the gray bedding.
    David Wroblewski  --  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
  • My grandmother said that Owen resembled an embryonic fox.
    John Irving  --  A Prayer for Owen Meany
  • I even envisioned a tiny embryonic Superman whom Nathan might be concocting at Pfizer, an inch-high square-jawed homunculus complete with cape and "S" emblazoned on his breast, ready to leap to his place in the color pages of Life as another miraculous artifact of our age.
    William Styron  --  Sophie's Choice
  • Following a ruckus of flopping slices, overflowing two-liter bottles of soda, and bumping chairs, everyone settles in, munching away, for the first official meeting of MIT's Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science, acronyficiently called MIT MITES-as in embryonic MITers, soon to be born.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • ...replica of an illustration she had once seen in a Polish edition of The Old Curiosity Shop: festering with French, Italian, Russian and Polish antiques, of all periods and styles, it looked the work of some crazed interior decorator who had dumped out onto the shining parquet floors and sofas, chairs, tables, escritoires, love seats, chaises longues and stuffed ottomans of an embryonic palazzo—shoving into a single large, lofty but finite space the furniture suitable for a dozen rooms.
    William Styron  --  Sophie's Choice
  • The hypothesis of a plasmic memory, advanced by the Caledonian envoy and worthy of the metaphysical traditions of the land he stood for, envisaged in such cases an arrest of embryonic development at some stage antecedent to the human.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses

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