[ ep-i-jen-uh-sis ]
/ ˌɛp ɪˈdʒɛn ə sɪs /


Biology. the theory that an embryo develops from the successive differentiation of an originally undifferentiated structure (opposed to preformation).
Genetics. the approximately stepwise process by which genetic information is modified and translated into the substance and behavior of an organism.See also epigenetics.
Geology. ore deposition subsequent to the original formation of the enclosing country rock.

Origin of epigenesis

First recorded in 1800–10; epi- + -genesis


ep·i·gen·e·sist, e·pig·e·nist [ih-pij-uh-nist] /ɪˈpɪdʒ ə nɪst/, nounep·i·ge·net·ic [ep-i-juh-net-ik] /ˌɛp ɪ dʒəˈnɛt ɪk/, adjectiveep·i·ge·net·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for epigenesis

British Dictionary definitions for epigenesis

/ (ˌɛpɪˈdʒɛnɪsɪs) /


the widely accepted theory that an individual animal or plant develops by the gradual differentiation and elaboration of a fertilized egg cellCompare preformation (def. 2)
the formation or alteration of rocks after the surrounding rock has been formed
alteration of the mineral composition of a rock by external agents: a type of metamorphism

Derived forms of epigenesis

epigenesist or epigenist (ɪˈpɪdʒɪnɪst), 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

Medical definitions for epigenesis

[ ĕp′ə-jĕnĭ-sĭs ]


The theory that an individual is developed by successive differentiation of an unstructured egg rather than by a simple enlarging of a preformed entity.

Other words from epigenesis

ep′i•ge•netic (-jə-nĕtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.