Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

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

neotenic 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


Learn More about neoteny


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up neoteny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to defraud especially of money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt maudlin oily angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ