• synonyms


noun Embryology.
  1. the development of structural features of an organism or part.
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Origin of morphogenesis

First recorded in 1880–85; morpho- + genesis
Related formsmor·pho·ge·net·ic [mawr-foh-juh-net-ik] /ˌmɔr foʊ dʒəˈnɛt ɪk/, mor·pho·gen·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for morphogenesis

Historical Examples of morphogenesis

  • Now there are different branches of the physiology of morphogenesis or physiology of form.

    The Science and Philosophy of the Organism

    Hans Driesch

  • Therefore the elementary functions of the organism may properly be called the internal means of morphogenesis.

  • We therefore make no claim to offer a complete system of the internal elementary means of morphogenesis.

  • But, first of all, let us observe that the elementary means of morphogenesis are far from being morphogenesis themselves.

  • All means of morphogenesis are only to be considered as the most general frame of events within which morphogenesis occurs.

British Dictionary definitions for morphogenesis


  1. the development of form and structure in an organism during its growth from embryo to adult
  2. the evolutionary development of form in an organism or part of an organism
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Derived Formsmorphogenetic (ˌmɔːfəʊdʒɪˈnɛtɪk) or morphogenic, adjective
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 morphogenesis


1863 in biology; 1958 in geology; from morpho- + genesis. Related: Morphogenetic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

morphogenesis in Medicine


  1. Differentiation of cells and tissues in the early embryo which results in establishing the form and structure of the various organs and parts of the body.
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Related formsmor′pho•ge•netic (-jə-nĕtĭk) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

morphogenesis in Science


  1. Formation of the structure of an organism or part involving differentiation and growth of tissues and organs during development.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.