[ fahy-loj-uh-nee ]
See synonyms for phylogeny on
  1. the development or evolution of a particular group of organisms.

  2. the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, especially as depicted in a family tree.

Origin of phylogeny

First recorded in 1865–70; phylo- + -geny
  • Also phy·lo·gen·e·sis [fahy-luh-jen-uh-sis]. /ˌfaɪ ləˈdʒɛn ə sɪs/.

Other words from phylogeny

  • phy·lo·ge·net·ic [fahy-luh-juh-net-ik], /ˌfaɪ lə dʒəˈnɛt ɪk/, phy·lo·ge·net·i·cal, phy·lo·gen·ic, adjective
  • phy·lo·ge·net·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • phy·log·e·nist, noun

Words Nearby phylogeny Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use phylogeny in a sentence

  • It is expressed by the formula of Herbert Spencer, "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny."

  • These problems may be divided into two main groups, technically known as those of phylogeny and those of organogeny.

  • From the point of view of phylogeny, the animal kingdom is, therefore, clearly much younger than the plant kingdom.

    The Wonders of Life | Ernst Haeckel
  • The three most valuable sources of evidence in phylogeny are paleontology, comparative anatomy, and ontogeny.

    The Wonders of Life | Ernst Haeckel
  • Scientific and thorough proof of this will be found in the three volumes of my Systematic phylogeny .

    The Wonders of Life | Ernst Haeckel

British Dictionary definitions for phylogeny


phylogenesis (ˌfaɪləʊˈdʒɛnɪsɪs)

/ (faɪˈlɒdʒɪnɪ) /

nounplural -nies or -geneses (-ˈdʒɛnɪˌsiːz)
  1. biology the sequence of events involved in the evolution of a species, genus, etc: Compare ontogeny

Origin of phylogeny

C19: from phylo- + -geny

Derived forms of phylogeny

  • phylogenic (ˌfaɪləʊˈdʒɛnɪk) or phylogenetic (ˌfaɪləʊdʒɪˈnɛtɪk), adjective

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

Scientific definitions for phylogeny


[ fī-lŏjə-nē ]

  1. The evolutionary development and history of a species or higher taxonomic grouping of organisms.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.