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[on-toj-uh-nee] /ɒnˈtɒdʒ ə ni/
noun, Biology.
the development or developmental history of an individual organism.
Also, ontogenesis
[on-tuh-jen-uh-sis] /ˌɒn təˈdʒɛn ə sɪs/ (Show IPA)
Compare phylogeny.
Origin of ontogeny
First recorded in 1870-75; onto- + -geny
Related forms
[on-tuh-juh-net-ik] /ˌɒn tə dʒəˈnɛt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
ontogenetical, ontogenic, adjective
ontogenetically, ontogenically, adverb
ontogenist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ontogenic
Historical Examples
  • But there is another essential element in ontogenic evolution.

    Evolution Joseph Le Conte
  • This, as already explained, is the embryonic or ontogenic series.

    Evolution Joseph Le Conte
  • Because we can trace the change from the one to the other in the ontogenic series.

    Evolution Joseph Le Conte
  • This ontogenic fact is supremely important, for the most far-reaching conclusions may be drawn from it.

British Dictionary definitions for ontogenic


the entire sequence of events involved in the development of an individual organism Compare phylogeny
Derived Forms
ontogenic (ˌɒntəˈdʒɛnɪk), ontogenetic (ˌɒntədʒɪˈnɛtɪk) adjective
ontogenically, ontogenetically, adverb
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 ontogenic



"development of an individual," 1872, from onto- + -geny. Related: Ontogenic; ontogenesis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ontogenic in Medicine

ontogeny on·tog·e·ny (ŏn-tŏj'ə-nē)
The origin and development of an individual organism from embryo to adult. Also called ontogenesis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ontogenic in Science
The origin and development of an individual organism from embryo to adult.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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