a. Anatomy The flexible cordlike structure connecting a fetus at the abdomen with the placenta and containing two umbilical arteries and one vein that transport nourishment to the fetus and remove its wastes.
b. Something likened to this structure; a source or means of support or sustenance: "All the umbilical cords of dependency still exist because the public wants them" (David A. Stockman).
a. Any of various external electrical lines or fluid tubes that supply a rocket before launch.
b. The line that supplies an astronaut with oxygen and in some cases with communications while outside the spacecraft.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.