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.
- ep·i·gen·e·sist, e·pig·e·nist [ih-pij-uh-nist], /ɪˈpɪdʒ ə nɪst/, noun
- ep·i·ge·net·ic [ep-i-juh-net-ik], /ˌɛp ɪ dʒəˈnɛt ɪk/, adjective
- ep·i·ge·net·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use epigenesis in a sentence
Rignano calls his theory "centro-epigenesis" and is greatly influenced by Weismann.Darwin, and After Darwin, Volume II (of 3) | George John Romanes
The development is an epigenesis, or impressing on identical material of different characters by different surrounding forces.
It is interesting to display the essential contrast between preformation and epigenesis in the poetical words of Wolff himself.
Elsewhere he writes: 'I believe that I have established that ontogeny can be explained only by evolution, and not by epigenesis.'
In fact, the deepest consideration leads us again to the original question: Is embryonic development epigenesis or evolution?
British Dictionary definitions for epigenesis
the widely accepted theory that an individual animal or plant develops by the gradual differentiation and elaboration of a fertilized egg cell: Compare 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
- 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