• synonyms


  1. Biology. consisting of organisms descended from a single taxon.
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Origin of monophyletic

First recorded in 1870–75; mono- + phyletic
Related formsmon·o·phy·le·tism [mon-uh-fahy-li-tiz-uh m, -fil-i-] /ˌmɒn əˈfaɪ lɪˌtɪz əm, -ˈfɪl ɪ-/, mon·o·phy·le·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for monophyletic

Historical Examples of monophyletic

  • On the question as to whether descent was monophyletic or polyphyletic Darwin expressed no dogmatic opinion.

    Form and Function

    E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

  • The problem of the monophyletic or polyphyletic origin of the human race has also been much discussed.

  • It is generally believed that the Arthropoda constitute a natural, monophyletic group.

British Dictionary definitions for monophyletic


  1. relating to or characterized by descent from a single ancestral group of animals or plants
  2. (of animals or plants) of or belonging to a single stock
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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

monophyletic in Medicine


  1. Descended or derived from one original stock or source.
  2. Of or being the theory that all blood cells are derived from one common stem cell.
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Related formsmon′o•phyle•tism (-fīlĭ-tĭz′əm) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

monophyletic in Science


  1. Relating to a taxonomic group that contains all the descendants of a single common ancestor. All clades, such as birds and placental mammals, are monophyletic. Compare paraphyletic polyphyletic.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.