1The action or process of mutating.‘the mutation of cooking into a form of show business’
- ‘his first novel went through several mutations’
2The changing of the structure of a gene, resulting in a variant form that may be transmitted to subsequent generations, caused by the alteration of single base units in DNA, or the deletion, insertion, or rearrangement of larger sections of genes or chromosomes.
- ‘mutation is, ultimately, the only way in which new variation enters the species’
- 2.1A distinct form resulting from a change in the structure of a gene.
mutant, variant, variation, freak, freak of nature, deviant, monstrosity, monster, deformityView synonyms
- ‘whether his goats were a new mutation or part of an older breed remains unclear’
Regular change of a sound when it occurs adjacent to another.
- 3.1(in Germanic languages) the process by which the quality of a vowel was altered in certain phonetic contexts; umlaut.
- 3.2(in Celtic languages) change of an initial consonant in a word caused (historically) by the preceding word.See also lenition
Late Middle English from Latin mutatio(n-), from mutare ‘to change’.