Meaning of ontogenesis in English:


Pronunciation /ˌɒntə(ʊ)ˈdʒɛnɪsɪs/


mass nounBiology
  • The development of an individual organism or anatomical or behavioural feature from the earliest stage to maturity.

    Compare with phylogenesis

    ‘Shepard proposes that humans go through eight stages of ontogenesis in their first twenty years of life.’
    • ‘The concepts of penetrance and expressivity and also of the systemic regulation of the formation of phenotypic traits - the foundation of phenogenetics and the genetics of ontogenesis.’
    • ‘Ductal plate malformation results from persistence or absence of remodeling of the embryonic ductal plate during ontogenesis.’
    • ‘Since this field of biogenesis is not available to us, we shall do as biologists do and turn to ontogenesis.’
    • ‘Some degree of variation seems attributable to ontogenesis, as large morphological distances are observed between young and adult specimens.’


Late 19th century from Greek ōn, ont- ‘being’ + genesis ‘birth’.