verb (used without object), mu·tat·ed, mu·tat·ing.
  1. to change; undergo mutation.

Origin of mutate

1810–20; < Latin mūtātus, past participle of mūtare to change; see -ate1
Related formsmu·ta·tive [myoo-tuh-tiv] /ˈmyu tə tɪv/, adjectivenon·mu·ta·tive, adjectiveun·mu·tat·ed, adjectiveun·mu·ta·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mutating

modify, alter, vary, change, anomaly, mutant, mutation

Examples from the Web for mutating

Contemporary Examples of mutating

Historical Examples of mutating

  • The great majority, however, are not at present in the mutating state.

  • De Vries cites several other instances of plants in a mutating state.

  • But the average wing-length of the offspring of the two mutating individuals will be 20 inches.

  • The classical example of a mutating plant is the evening primrose of the species Oenothera lamarckiana.

  • These instances would seem to indicate that cattle are what De Vries would call “in a mutating state” in that part of the world.

British Dictionary definitions for mutating


  1. to undergo or cause to undergo mutation
Derived Formsmutative (ˈmjuːtətɪv, mjuːˈteɪtɪv), adjective

Word Origin for mutate

C19: from Latin mūtātus changed, from mūtāre to change
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 mutating



"to change state or condition," 1818, back-formation from mutation. In genetic sense, 1913, from Latin mutatus, past participle of mutare "to change" (see mutable). Related: Mutated; mutating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper