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[toh-tip-uh-tuh nt] /toʊˈtɪp ə tənt/
adjective, Biology.
(of a cell or part) having the potential for developing in various specialized ways in response to external or internal stimuli.
Origin of totipotent
First recorded in 1895-1900; toti- + potent1
Related forms
totipotency, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for totipotency


(of an animal cell) capable of differentiation and so forming a new individual, tissue, organ, etc
Derived Forms
totipotency, noun
Word Origin
C20: from Latin tōtus entire + potent1
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 totipotency



1896, from Latin toti-, comb. form of totus "whole" (see total (adj.)) + potent. Perhaps immediately from German totipotent, which is attested by 1893. Related: Totipotency.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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totipotency in Medicine

totipotency to·tip·o·ten·cy (tō-tĭp'ə-tən-sē, tō'tĭ-pōt'n-sē) or to·tip·o·tence (tō-tĭp'ə-təns, tō'tĭ-pōt'ns)
The ability of a cell, such as an egg, to give rise to unlike cells and to develop into or generate a new organism or part.

to·tip'o·tent adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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totipotency in Culture

totipotency definition

The ability of cells such as an embryonic stem cell to differentiate into any type of body cell. Plant cells are also totipotent, which helps to explain why a graft of a plant can generate a whole new individual out of just a small branch cutting.

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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