View synonyms for heterogeneous


[ het-er-uh-jee-nee-uhs, -jeen-yuhs ]


  1. different in kind; unlike; incongruous.
  2. composed of parts of different kinds; having widely dissimilar elements or constituents:

    The party was attended by a heterogeneous group of artists, politicians, and social climbers.

    Synonyms: diverse, varied

    Antonyms: homogeneous

  3. Chemistry. (of a mixture) composed of different substances or the same substance in different phases, as solid ice and liquid water.


/ ˌhɛtərəʊdʒɪˈniːɪtɪ; ˌhɛtərəʊˈdʒiːnɪəs /


  1. composed of unrelated or differing parts or elements
  2. not of the same kind or type
  3. chem of, composed of, or concerned with two or more different phases Compare homogeneous

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Derived Forms

  • ˌheteroˈgeneously, adverb
  • heterogeneity, noun

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Other Words From

  • heter·o·gene·ous·ly adverb
  • heter·o·gene·ous·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of heterogeneous1

1615–25; < Medieval Latin heterogeneus < Greek heterogenḗs. See hetero-, gene, -ous

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Word History and Origins

Origin of heterogeneous1

C17: from Medieval Latin heterogeneus, from Greek heterogenēs, from hetero- + genos sort

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Example Sentences

His research helped advance methods of depositing often remarkably thin films of material onto silicon wafers, in a process known as heterogeneous integration.

One of the reasons why things are so slow in our field is we’re trying to address a heterogeneous disease with one intervention at a time.

But, he adds, “I think the future will be heterogeneous, in which all the technologies are used probably in a complementary way to traditional computing.”

There was a study of Wikipedia that showed the most accurate and high quality articles were produced by an ideologically heterogeneous, diverse set of editors and writers.

The “Nueve” was representative of the quite heterogeneous forces that retook the city.

By contrast, brain states are far more heterogeneous, likely due to interactions between a person and his or her environment.

Sunni families in historically heterogeneous areas picked up and fled, eager to avoid a power drill to the forehead.

Which they would, because the Democratic caucus is already heterogeneous enough to be amenable to compromise.

I missed the general accepting feeling that comes from such a heterogeneous mixture of people.

The party at Walls End Castle, though its elements were decidedly heterogeneous, was a success.

But, just examine this heterogeneous pile of 'cigar-lights,' which rears its audacious head upon the table.

What obscured the history was the manner in which masses of heterogeneous facts were heaped together.

Other varieties of heterogeneous colloidal mixtures are tabulated by Wo.

The ponderous weight of the empire ground out racial and caste distinctions and welded together all the heterogeneous mass.


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More About Heterogeneous

What does heterogeneous mean?

Heterogeneous most generally means consisting of different, distinguishable parts or elements.

The word is used in a more specific way in the context of chemistry to describe a mixture consisting of two or more different substances or the same substance in different phases of matter (such as ice and liquid water).

In either sense, the state of being heterogeneous is heterogeneity.

The general sense of heterogeneous is not as commonly used as the general sense of its opposite, homogeneous—which most often means consisting of parts or elements that are all the same. The word homogenous (which is spelled without a second e and is pronounced differently) can be used to mean the same thing.

The word heterogenous is very similar in spelling but not in meaning. It’s used in the context of biology and medicine to refer to something that originated outside of the body or that is derived from another individual or species (such as a skin graft).

Example: The exhibit features a heterogeneous mix of artifacts from different cultures and eras.

Where does heterogeneous come from?

The first record of heterogeneous comes from around 1620. It comes from the Greek heterogenḗs, from hetero, meaning “different,” and génos, “kind.”

In general, things that are homogeneous are all the same, and things that are heterogeneous consist of a variety of different parts. The same thing goes in chemistry. Homogenous mixtures are uniform in consistency. But the different elements of a heterogeneous mixture, such as ice floating in water, are often easy to distinguish and even sometimes separate.

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What are some other forms related to heterogeneous?

  • heterogeneously (adverb)
  • heterogeneousness (noun)
  • heterogeneity (noun)

What are some synonyms for heterogeneous?

What are some words that share a root or word element with heterogeneous

What are some words that often get used in discussing heterogeneous?

What are some words heterogeneous may be commonly confused with?

How is heterogeneous used in real life?

Heterogeneous is used in the context of chemistry, but it’s also commonly used in a general way.



Try using heterogeneous!

Which of the following things would NOT be considered a heterogeneous mixture?

A. a bowl of mixed nuts
B. a glass of water
C. a glass of ice water
D. water with sand in it