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See more synonyms for parthenogenesis on Thesaurus.com
noun Biology.
  1. development of an egg without fertilization.
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Origin of parthenogenesis

First recorded in 1840–50; partheno- + genesis
Related formspar·the·no·ge·net·ic [pahr-thuh-noh-juh-net-ik] /ˌpɑr θə noʊ dʒəˈnɛt ɪk/, adjectivepar·the·no·ge·net·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for parthenogenetic

Historical Examples

  • Heterogeny: the alternation of sexual and parthenogenetic generations.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • They were not merely hermaphroditic, nor androgynous, nor parthenogenetic.


    Edward Elmer Smith

  • He is reputed to have been one of twins, children of the Sun and a maid by parthenogenetic conception.

  • Why must those loathsome and parthenogenetic green flies devour the tender roses?

  • Multiplication by budding or by the parthenogenetic production of eggs is not known to occur.

British Dictionary definitions for parthenogenetic


  1. a type of reproduction, occurring in some insects and flowers, in which the unfertilized ovum develops directly into a new individual
  2. human conception without fertilization by a male; virgin birth
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Derived Formsparthenogenetic (ˌpɑːθɪˌnəʊdʒɪˈnɛtɪk), adjectiveparthenogenetically, adverb

Word Origin

C19: from Greek parthenos virgin + genesis birth
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 parthenogenetic



"reproduction without fertilization," 1849, from Greek parthenos "virgin," of unknown origin, + genesis (see genesis). Related: Parthenogenetic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

parthenogenetic in Medicine


  1. A form of reproduction in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual, occurring commonly among insects and certain other arthropods.
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Related formspar′the•no•ge•netic (-jə-nĕtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

parthenogenetic in Science


  1. Reproduction in which an egg develops into a new individual without being fertilized. Aphids and certain other insects can reproduce by parthenogenesis. Parthenogenesis does not necessarily produce clones of the parent. Among hymenopterans such as honeybees and ants, the haploid males develop from unfertilized eggs laid by the queen, who is diploid. Parthenogenesis is a form of apomixis.
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Related formsparthenogenetic adjective (pär′thə-nō-jə-nĕtĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.