[ het-er-uh-zahy-guh s ]
/ ˌhɛt ər əˈzaɪ gəs /

adjective Biology.

having dissimilar pairs of genes for any hereditary characteristic.
of or relating to a heterozygote.

Nearby words

  1. heteroxenous,
  2. heteroxenous parasite,
  3. heterozygosis,
  4. heterozygosity,
  5. heterozygote,
  6. heth,
  7. hetian,
  8. hetman,
  9. hetmanate,
  10. hetp

Also het·er·o·zy·got·ic [het-uh-roh-zahy-got-ik] /ˌhɛt ə roʊ zaɪˈgɒt ɪk/.

Origin of heterozygous

1900–05; hetero- + Greek zygós, adj. derivative of zygón yolk; see -ous

Related formshet·er·o·zy·gos·i·ty [het-uh-roh-zahy-gos-i-tee] /ˌhɛt ə roʊ zaɪˈgɒs ɪ ti/, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heterozygous

British Dictionary definitions for heterozygous


/ (ˌhɛtərəʊˈzaɪɡəs) /


genetics (of an organism) having different alleles for any one geneheterozygous for eye colour Compare homozygous
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 heterozygous



1889, from heterozygote, from hetero- + zygote.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for heterozygous


[ hĕt′ər-ə-zīgəs ]


Having different alleles at one or more corresponding chromosomal loci.
Of or relating to a heterozygote.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for heterozygous


[ hĕt′ər-ə-zīgəs ]

Relating to a cell that has two different alleles at corresponding positions on homologous chromosomes. Compare homozygous.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.