- (BIOLOGY) A ropelike structure,
40–60 cm long, linking the developing embryo
or fetus to the placenta
through most of pregnancy. It consists
of blood vessels (two arteries and a vein) taking blood to and from
the placenta, and a gelatinous matrix. Shortly after delivery, the cord
is clamped to prevent blood loss, cut between the clamps, and is used
to assist delivery of the placenta. The stump of the cord undergoes
atrophy and becomes the umbilicus (navel).
- (ROCKETRY) Often shortened to
umbilical. (a) Any of the servicing electrical or fluid
lines between the ground and an upright rocket or missile before launch.
(b) The cord that, in early manned missions, attached a space-walking
astronaut to his or her spacecraft.