Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[juh-net-iks] /dʒəˈnɛt ɪks/
noun, (used with a singular verb)
Biology. the science of heredity, dealing with resemblances and differences of related organisms resulting from the interaction of their genes and the environment.
the genetic properties and phenomena of an organism.
Origin of genetics
see genetic, -ics; term first proposed in this sense by British biologist William Bateson (1861-1926) in 1905 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for genetics
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If, then, progress was to be made in genetics, work of a different kind was required.

  • It sprang from genetics and bears the mark of an implicit Darwinian mechanism.

  • The metaphors of genetics and evolutionary models can be applied.

  • I've been studying up on biology and genetics; talking to Chang got me interested.

    This Crowded Earth Robert Bloch
  • Lindstrom of Iowa has led in research on the genetics of tomatoes, chromosome relations and mode of inheritance.

    The Tomato Paul Work
British Dictionary definitions for genetics


(functioning as sing) the branch of biology concerned with the study of heredity and variation in organisms
the genetic features and constitution of a single organism, species, or group
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for genetics

1872, "laws of origination;" see genetic + -ics. A coinage of English biologist William Bateson (1861-1926). Meaning "study of heredity" is from 1891.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
genetics in Medicine

genetics ge·net·ics (jə-nět'ĭks)
The branch of biology that deals with heredity, especially the mechanisms of hereditary transmission and the variation of inherited traits among similar or related organisms.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
genetics in Science
The scientific study of the principles of heredity and the variation of inherited traits among related organisms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
genetics in Culture

genetics definition

The study of heredity, or how the characteristics of living things are transmitted from one generation to the next. Every living thing contains the genetic material that makes up DNA molecules. This material is passed on when organisms reproduce. The basic unit of heredity is the gene. (See chromosomes; dominant trait; genetic code; Gregor Mendel; recessive trait; and sexual reproduction.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for genetics

Difficulty index for genetics

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for genetics

Scrabble Words With Friends