late 14c., "the young while in the womb or egg," from L. fetus "the bearing, bringing forth, or hatching of young," from Latin base *fe- "to generate, bear," also "to suck, suckle" (see fecund). In Latin, fetus sometimes was transferred figuratively to the newborn creature itself, or used in a sense of "offspring, brood", but this was not the basic meaning.
The spelling foetus is sometimes attempted as a learned Latinism, but it is not historic. Foetus is also the official spelling in the Britain and the British common wealth,(hence google is trying to correct fetus for me) though fetus is used in the medical world here...
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