• synonyms


[vahys-mahn-iz-uh m]
noun Biology.
  1. the theories of heredity as expounded by Weismann, especially the theory that all inheritable characteristics are carried in the germ plasm, and that acquired characteristics cannot be inherited.
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Origin of Weismannism

First recorded in 1890–95; Weismann + -ism
Related formsWeis·mann·i·an, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for weismannism

Historical Examples

  • Now let me return to the recent division of biological opinion into two main streams—Lamarckism and Weismannism.

    The Humour of Homer and Other Essays

    Samuel Butler

  • Fortuitously initiated development is a condition sine qua non of Darwinism and Weismannism.

  • Let us now proceed to the experimental evidence which has been adduced on the side of Weismannism.

British Dictionary definitions for weismannism


  1. the doctrine of the continuity of the germ plasm. This theory of heredity states that all inheritable characteristics are transmitted by the reproductive cells and that characteristics acquired during the lifetime of the organism are not inherited
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Word Origin

C19: named after August Weismann (1834–1914), German biologist
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