• synonyms


[ey-bahy-oh-jen-uh-sis, ab-ee-oh-]
  1. the now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter; spontaneous generation.
  2. the theory that the earliest life forms on earth developed from nonliving matter.Compare biogenesis.
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Origin of abiogenesis

a-6 + biogenesis; coined by T. H. Huxley in 1870
Related formsa·bi·o·ge·net·ic [ey-bahy-oh-juh-net-ik, ab-ee-oh-] /ˌeɪ baɪ oʊ dʒəˈnɛt ɪk, ˌæb i oʊ-/, a·bi·o·ge·net·i·cal, adjectivea·bi·o·ge·net·i·cal·ly, adverba·bi·og·e·nist [ey-bahy-oj-uh-nist, ab-ee-] /ˌeɪ baɪˈɒdʒ ə nɪst, ˌæb i-/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for abiogenesis

Historical Examples of abiogenesis

  • Abiogenesis, ab-i-o-jen′es-is, n. the origination of living by not-living matter, spontaneous generation.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D)


  • This belief led to the theory of abiogenesis so-called—a term signifying the production of life without life to begin with.

  • The belief in abiogenesis or spontaneous generation, as now taking place, has completely disappeared from biological teaching.

    Evolution in Art

    Alfred C. Haddon

British Dictionary definitions for abiogenesis


  1. Also called: autogenesis the hypothetical process by which living organisms first arose on earth from nonliving matter
  2. another name for spontaneous generation Compare biogenesis
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Derived Formsabiogenetic, adjectiveabiogenist (ˌeɪbaɪˈɒdʒɪnɪst), noun

Word Origin for abiogenesis

C19: New Latin, from a- 1 + bio- + genesis
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

abiogenesis in Science


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