[ het-er-uh-zahy-guhs ]

  1. relating to or being a heterozygote, an organism that possesses a pair of differing alleles, one dominant and one recessive, of a particular gene.

Origin of heterozygous

First recorded in 1900–05; hetero- + Greek zygós, adjective derivative of zygón “yolk”; see -ous
  • Also het·er·o·zy·got·ic [het-uh-roh-zahy-got-ik]. /ˌhɛt ə roʊ zaɪˈgɒt ɪk/.

Other words from heterozygous

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

Words Nearby heterozygous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use heterozygous in a sentence

  • This would indicate that the frog belongs to those animals in which the male is heterozygous for sex.

  • Being heterozygous for two factors they will produce four kinds of gametes in equal numbers, viz.

    Mendelism | Reginald Crundall Punnett
  • Such birds being heterozygous for the inhibitor factor, should be whites showing some coloured "ticks."

    Mendelism | Reginald Crundall Punnett
  • The cross between a heterozygous dominant and a recessive also leads to equal numbers of recessives and of heterozygous dominants.

    Mendelism | Reginald Crundall Punnett
  • There exists repulsion between the factors G and F in a zygote which is heterozygous for them both.

    Mendelism | Reginald Crundall Punnett

British Dictionary definitions for heterozygous


/ (ˌhɛtərəʊˈzaɪɡəs) /

  1. genetics (of an organism) having different alleles for any one gene: heterozygous 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

Scientific definitions for heterozygous


[ hĕt′ər-ə-zīgəs ]

  1. 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.