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neoteny

play
noun ne·o·te·ny \nē-ˈä-tə-nē\

Definition of neoteny

  1. 1 :  retention of some larval or immature characters in adulthood

  2. 2 :  attainment of sexual maturity during the larval stage

ne·o·ten·ic play \ˌnē-ə-ˈte-nik\ adjective


Origin of neoteny

New Latin neotenia, from ne- + Greek teinein to stretch — more at thin


First Known Use: 1901


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