[ on-toj-uh-nee ]
/ ɒnˈtɒdʒ ə ni /

noun Biology.

the development or developmental history of an individual organism.

Nearby words

  1. onto,
  2. onto function,
  3. onto-,
  4. ontogenesis,
  5. ontogenetic,
  6. ontological,
  7. ontological argument,
  8. ontologism,
  9. ontologize,
  10. ontology

Also on·to·gen·e·sis [on-tuh-jen-uh-sis] /ˌɒn təˈdʒɛn ə sɪs/.

Compare phylogeny.

Origin of ontogeny

First recorded in 1870–75; onto- + -geny

Related formson·to·ge·net·ic [on-tuh-juh-net-ik] /ˌɒn tə dʒəˈnɛt ɪk/, on·to·ge·net·i·cal, on·to·gen·ic, adjectiveon·to·ge·net·i·cal·ly, on·to·gen·i·cal·ly, adverbon·tog·e·nist, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ontogenetic

British Dictionary definitions for ontogenetic


ontogenesis (ˌɒntəˈdʒɛnɪsɪs)

/ (ɒnˈtɒdʒənɪ) /


the entire sequence of events involved in the development of an individual organismCompare phylogeny
Derived Formsontogenic (ˌɒntəˈdʒɛnɪk) or ontogenetic (ˌɒntədʒɪˈnɛtɪk), adjectiveontogenically or ontogenetically, 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

Word Origin and History for ontogenetic



"development of an individual," 1872, from onto- + -geny. Related: Ontogenic; ontogenesis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for ontogenetic


[ ŏn′tō-jə-nĕtĭk ]


Of or relating to ontogeny.


[ ŏn-tŏjə-nē ]


The origin and development of an individual organism from embryo to adult.ontogenesis

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for ontogenetic


[ ŏn-tŏjə-nē ]

The origin and development of an individual organism from embryo to adult.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.