Also called break . a sudden departure from the parent type in one or more heritable characteristics, caused by a change in a gene or a chromosome.
Also called sport . an individual, species, or the like, resulting from such a departure.
the act or process of changing.
a change or alteration, as in form or nature.
Linguistics. (in Celtic languages) syntactically determined morphophonemic phenomena that affect initial sounds of words.
- mu·ta·tion·al, adjective
- mu·ta·tion·al·ly, adverb
- non·mu·ta·tion·al, adjective
- non·mu·ta·tion·al·ly, adverb
- un·mu·ta·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use mutation in a sentence
That’s because it’s prone to introducing unexpected mutations that are hard to spot, and it can generate embryos with a mixture of edited and unedited cells.The “staged rollout” of gene-modified babies could start with sickle-cell disease | Amy Nordrum | September 3, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
Gene editing might be an option when 25 percent or fewer of a couple’s embryos would be free of the disease-causing mutation.Strict new guidelines lay out a path to heritable human gene editing | Tina Hesman Saey | September 3, 2020 | Science News
When geneticists need to understand what genes do, they can create laboratory mice with “knockout” mutations and see whether and how the animals cope with the loss.By Losing Genes, Life Often Evolved More Complexity | Viviane Callier | September 1, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
Dowling’s theory predicts that the faster the mitochondrial mutation rate is, the more often the members of that species will need to have sex.Sex Is Driven by the Impetus to Change - Issue 88: Love & Sex | Jill Neimark | August 12, 2020 | Nautilus
Without sex we’d have a situation where mitochondrial mutations accumulate much faster and the nucleus could not come up quickly enough with co-adapted mutations.Sex Is Driven by the Impetus to Change - Issue 88: Love & Sex | Jill Neimark | August 12, 2020 | Nautilus
This is the actual Calaveras Fault, forcing its way through town, bringing architectural mutation along with it.
Those with the disease have some cells that are genetically normal and some with the mutation.
For some illnesses, having a mutation in one specific gene usually—but not always—caused disease.
If scientists identify 100 individuals with the same mutation, and 75 of them have disease, the penetrance is 75 percent.
This was a mutation of a relationship that should, in theory, be unbreakably strong.Their Cordial Meeting Proves the Common Bonds of Obama and Pope Francis | Joshua DuBois | March 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Nor is it difficult to discover some of the circumstances that tended to bring about this radical mutation of policy.History of the Rise of the Huguenots | Henry Baird
Do species change by the gradual elimination of the unfit, or do they change by sudden leaps, the "mutation" theory of de Vries?The Book of Life: Vol. I Mind and Body; Vol. II Love and Society | Upton Sinclair
There is no trace of such vocalic mutation (“umlaut”) in Gothic, our most archaic Germanic language.Language | Edward Sapir
Still more remarkable is the mutation and addition of new words of especially definite meaning among certain classes.Criminal Psychology | Hans Gross
Such differentiations in tone our own people make also, and the mutation of meaning is very close.Criminal Psychology | Hans Gross
British Dictionary definitions for mutation
the act or process of mutating; change; alteration
a change or alteration
a change in the chromosomes or genes of a cell. When this change occurs in the gametes the structure and development of the resultant offspring may be affected: See also inversion (def. 11)
another word for mutant (def. 1)
a physical characteristic of an individual resulting from this type of chromosomal change
(in Germanic languages) another name for umlaut
(in Celtic languages) a phonetic change in certain initial consonants caused by a preceding word
- mutational, adjective
- mutationally, adverb
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 mutation
A change in the structure of the genes or chromosomes of an organism. Mutations occurring in the reproductive cells, such as an egg or sperm, can be passed from one generation to the next. Most mutations occur in junk DNA and have no discernible effects on the survivability of an organism. Of the remaining mutations, the majority have harmful effects, while a minority can increase an organism's ability to survive. A mutation that benefits a species may evolve by means of natural selection into a trait shared by some or all members of the species. See Note at sickle cell anemia.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.