Definition of homeosis in English:


(British homoeosis)

Pronunciation /ˌhōmēˈōsəs/ /ˌhoʊmiˈoʊsəs/


  • The replacement of part of one segment of an insect or other segmented animal by a structure characteristic of a different segment, especially through mutation.

    ‘Genes identified by such mutations are called homeotic genes because when mutated they result in homeosis - the transformation of a whole segment or structure into another related one, as in the transformation of antenna to leg.’
    • ‘This research on homeosis was intended to support both his view of genetic structure and his view of evolution.’
    • ‘However, those experiments show only what morphological changes are possible to manipulate experimentally, not what actually happened in evolution, and one question is why homeosis would occur at all.’
    • ‘Even when the case for a pattern of homeosis is more firmly established, the underlying mechanism responsible for the pattern is not easily accessible.’
    • ‘He used examples such as environmental sex determination and homeosis as possible examples.’


Late 19th century from Greek homoiōsis ‘becoming like’, from homoios ‘like’.