noun (used with a singular verb)

Biology. the science of heredity, dealing with resemblances and differences of related organisms resulting from the interaction of their genes and the environment.
the genetic properties and phenomena of an organism.

Origin of genetics

see genetic, -ics; term first proposed in this sense by British biologist William Bateson (1861–1926) in 1905 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for genetics

Contemporary Examples of genetics

Historical Examples of genetics

  • If, then, progress was to be made in Genetics, work of a different kind was required.

  • It sprang from genetics and bears the mark of an implicit Darwinian mechanism.

  • The metaphors of genetics and evolutionary models can be applied.

  • I've been studying up on biology and genetics; talking to Chang got me interested.

    This Crowded Earth

    Robert Bloch

  • Lindstrom of Iowa has led in research on the genetics of tomatoes, chromosome relations and mode of inheritance.

    The Tomato

    Paul Work

British Dictionary definitions for genetics



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

Word Origin and History for genetics

1872, "laws of origination;" see genetic + -ics. A coinage of English biologist William Bateson (1861-1926). Meaning "study of heredity" is from 1891.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

genetics in Medicine




The branch of biology that deals with heredity, especially the mechanisms of hereditary transmission and the variation of inherited traits among similar or related organisms.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

genetics in Science



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.

genetics in Culture


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.