Meaning of ontogeny in English:


Pronunciation /ɒnˈtɒdʒɪni/


mass noun
  • 1The branch of biology that deals with ontogenesis.

    Compare with phylogeny

    ‘However helpful this removal can be, there needs also to be a cohesive model of homologies that can draw upon the integration of morphology, ontogeny, and paleontology.’
    • ‘Given the interest in comparative approaches in biology, new examples of embryonic ontogeny of osmoregulation should be investigated in species with internal or external development.’
    • ‘His finding of parallels between ontogeny, paleontology, and morphology was rapidly adopted by biologists like Haeckel and used to support evolution.’
    • ‘However, the examination of specific cases may still yield valuable insight into the relationship between phylogeny, ontogeny and ecology.’
    • ‘Recall that the central theme of monism is the so-called biogenetic law stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.’
    • ‘Although a strong form of recapitulation is not correct, phylogeny and ontogeny are intertwined, and many biologists are beginning to both explore and understand the basis for this connection.’
    • ‘A more botanically minded perspective of branching patterns integrates plant morphology and ontogeny.’
    • ‘In summary, the available evidence from both ontogeny and adult morphology suggests that the first ambulacral is at least involved in the construction of the MAO.’
    • ‘If ontogeny really did recapitulate phylogeny, then phylogenetic relationships might be determined directly by reference to ontogenetic sequences.’
    • ‘Sacks suggests that the way to learn a subject is to go through it historically for oneself - a mental version of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny - and the account of him doing so is as lovely as it is riveting.’
    • ‘Heterochronic evolution has been defined as a morphological change inscribed within an ontogenetic trajectory that produces parallelism between ontogeny and phylogeny.’
    • ‘Can anyone get more obscure than biologists and paleontologists, who reflect for thirteen syllables on whether or not ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny?’
    • ‘Hmm… Since ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny I don't think there actually is a completion of the quest.’
    • ‘Measurement of the distinguishing characteristics of the skeleton - the skull and pelvis - led some anatomists to conclude that white women ranked below European men in the scales of both ontogeny and phylogeny.’
    • ‘There shall always be exceptions, but the rule is that heredity to a large extent determines the environment in which we are going to live - or ontogeny determines phylogeny.’
    • ‘Progress in our understanding of the relationships between ontogeny and phylogeny forever seems to be bogged in nomenclatural disputes.’
    • ‘Delineation of species has traditionally been based on morphological characteristics, especially macroconidium ontogeny, and species have been named based on host association.’
    • ‘Heterometry should be applicable only to morphological features that are considered fixed in number through ontogeny.’
    • ‘Moreover, three of them could constitute a morphological series, continuously related through ontogeny.’
    • ‘So these small horns may be more relevant to the study of dinosaur ontogeny than phylogeny (evolution).’
    1. 1.1
      another term for ontogenesis
      ‘Exceptions to the rule may provide insight into the biology of the animals' ontogeny and life cycle.’
      • ‘These models stress the dynamics during ontogeny of the cellular components of growth and morphogenesis.’
      • ‘Selection may act to modify ontogeny and ultimately determine morphology and function.’
      • ‘There is however one problem, namely that much of the ontogeny and behavior of biological organisms is not intentional.’
      • ‘Specialization on alternative food resources might drive evolutionary shifts in jaw ontogeny and morphology.’


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