Punnett square


Pun·​nett square ˈpə-nət- How to pronounce Punnett square (audio)
: a square diagram that is composed of a grid of usually four boxes and is used to calculate and depict all the combinations and frequencies of the different genotypes and phenotypes among the offspring of a cross in accordance with Mendelian inheritance

Examples of Punnett square in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Biology Want to study things like Punnett squares, photosynthesis, and taxonomy? Skyler Higley, The New Yorker, 13 Aug. 2023 The heritability of sickle cell anemia, the most common and severe form of SCD, is about as straightforward as a Punnett square from a middle school biology textbook: if both parents are carriers (AS/AS), their children have a 25 percent chance of having the disease. Krithika Varagur, Harper's Magazine, 10 July 2023 These are best demonstrated, and most commonly recognized, through the Punnett square diagram. Mira Lazine, Discover Magazine, 12 Sep. 2022 Other stations demonstrate how parasites can be removed from the body, and how a Punnett square (a diagram used in genetics) can predict whether a child will inherit the gene for wet or dry earwax from their parents. Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2014

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Punnett square.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Reginald C. Punnett †1967 English geneticist

First Known Use

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Punnett square was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near Punnett square

Cite this Entry

“Punnett square.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Punnett%20square. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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