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A female animal, usually a calf, that is born as the twin of a male animal and is sterile because of having abnormal internal reproductive organs.

[Probably free-, of unknown origin + an element akin to Scots mart, ox or cow fattened for slaughter (as freemartins often are) (from Scottish Gaelic, from Old Irish), perhaps influenced by the name of St. Martin of Tours, because cattle were traditionally slaughtered and salted for winter use on Martinmas.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Veterinary Science) the female of a pair of twin calves of unlike sex that is imperfectly developed and sterile, probably due to the influence of the male hormones of its twin during development in the uterus
[C17: of uncertain origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈfriˌmɑr tn)

a female calf that is born as a twin with a male and is sterile as a result of exposure to masculinizing hormones produced by the male.
[1675–85; orig. uncertain]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Suttie, "Effects of testosterone on pedicle formation and its transformation to antler in castrated male, freemartin and normal female red deer (Cervus elaphus)," General and Comparative Endocrinology, vol.
Williams, "Tolerance to homografts, twin diagnosis, and the freemartin condition in cattle," Heredity, vol.
There was one case of freemartin. Freemartin heifers are caused by circulation of male twin's hormones through the developing female foetus (Roberts, loc cit.).
Anatomopathologic cytogenetic and molecular studies of the freemartin syndrome in cattle (Bos taurus).
Hematopoietic chimerism was first introduced by Owen when Freemartin cattle (fraternal twins sharing a placental circulation) were shown to be chimeric and tolerant to each other [51].
Direct observation of hematopoietic progenitor chimerism in fetal freemartin cattle.
The female twin of a cow/calf pair is called a freemartin. Freemartins are sterile 92% of the time.
There are echoes of Huxley here, this time of the dystopian Brave New World, where consumption drives all human activity, sex is detached from notions of romantic love, fertility is "merely a nuisance," and the "guaranteed" sterility of freemartin females leads, as it does with Waugh's Clara, to "the slightest tendency to grow beards" (22).