[ juh-net-iks ]
See synonyms for genetics on
noun(used with a singular verb)
  1. Biology. the science of heredity, dealing with resemblances and differences of related organisms resulting from the interaction of their genes and the environment.

  2. the genetic properties and phenomena of an organism.

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Origin of genetics

First recorded in 1905; see genetic, -ics; term first proposed in this sense by British biologist William Bateson (1861–1926)

Words Nearby genetics Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use genetics in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for genetics


/ (dʒɪˈnɛtɪks) /

  1. (functioning as singular) the branch of biology concerned with the study of heredity and variation in organisms

  2. the genetic features and constitution of a single organism, species, or group

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 genetics


[ jə-nĕtĭks ]

  1. The scientific study of the principles of heredity and the variation of inherited traits among related organisms.

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

Cultural definitions for genetics


The study of heredity, or how the characteristics of living things are transmitted from one generation to the next. Every living thing contains the genetic material that makes up DNA molecules. This material is passed on when organisms reproduce. The basic unit of heredity is the gene. (See chromosomes; dominant trait; genetic code; Gregor Mendel; recessive trait; and sexual reproduction.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.