[ ey-bahy-oh-jen-uh-sis, ab-ee-oh- ]
/ ˌeɪ baɪ oʊˈdʒɛn ə sɪs, ˌæb i oʊ- /
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See synonyms for: abiogenesis / abiogenetic on Thesaurus.com

noun Biology.

the theory that the earliest life forms on earth developed from nonliving matter.Compare biogenesis.
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, 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. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for abiogenesis

British Dictionary definitions for abiogenesis

/ (ˌeɪbaɪəʊˈdʒɛnɪsɪs) /


Also called: autogenesis the hypothetical process by which living organisms first arose on earth from nonliving matter
another name for spontaneous generation Compare biogenesis

Derived forms of abiogenesis

abiogenetic, 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

Scientific definitions for abiogenesis

[ ā′bī-ō-jĕnĭ-sĭs ]

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