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[myoo-tuh-juh n, -jen] /ˈmyu tə dʒən, -ˌdʒɛn/
a substance or preparation capable of inducing mutation.
Origin of mutagen
First recorded in 1945-50; muta(tion) + -gen Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for mutagen


a substance or agent that can induce genetic mutation
Derived Forms
mutagenic (ˌmjuːtəˈdʒɛnɪk) adjective
mutagenicity, noun
Word Origin
C20: from mutation + -gen
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
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Word Origin and History for mutagen

1946, from mutation + -gen "thing that produces." Related: Mutagenic; mutagenesis; mutagenize.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mutagen in Medicine

mutagen mu·ta·gen (myōō'tə-jən, -jěn')
An agent, such as ultraviolet light or a radioactive element, that can induce or increase the frequency of mutation in an organism.

mu'ta·gen'ic adj.
mu'ta·gen'i·cal·ly adv.
mu'ta·ge·nic'i·ty (-jə-nĭs'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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mutagen in Culture
mutagen [(myooh-tuh-juhn, myooh-tuh-jen)]

Something that causes mutations in living things. Mutagens include chemicals, such as drugs or toxins, and radiation.

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