[ ey-bahy-oh-jen-uh-sis, ab-ee-oh- ]
See synonyms for: abiogenetic on Thesaurus.com

  1. the theory that the earliest life forms on earth developed from nonliving matter.: Compare biogenesis.

  2. Also called spon·ta·ne·ous gen·er·a·tion [spon-tey-nee-uhs jen-uh-rey-shuhn] /spɒnˈteɪ ni əs ˌdʒɛn əˈreɪ ʃən/ . the now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter.

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Origin of abiogenesis

a-6 + biogenesis; coined by T. H. Huxley in 1870

Other words from abiogenesis

  • a·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, adjective
  • a·bi·o·ge·net·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • a·bi·og·e·nist [ey-bahy-oj-uh-nist, ab-ee-], /ˌeɪ baɪˈɒdʒ ə nɪst, ˌæb i-/, noun

Words Nearby abiogenesis

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use abiogenesis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for abiogenesis


/ (ˌeɪbaɪəʊˈdʒɛnɪsɪs) /

  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

Origin of abiogenesis

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

Derived forms of abiogenesis

  • abiogenetic, adjective
  • abiogenist (ˌeɪbaɪˈɒdʒɪnɪst), noun

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 abiogenesis


[ ā′bī-ō-jĕnĭ-sĭs ]

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