abiogenesis

noun

abio·​gen·​e·​sis ˌā-ˌbī-ō-ˈje-nə-səs How to pronounce abiogenesis (audio)
: the origin of life from nonliving matter
specifically : a theory in the evolution of early life on earth: organic molecules and subsequent simple life forms first originated from inorganic substances
According to the conventional hypothesis, the earliest living cells emerged as a result of chemical evolution on our planet billions of years ago in a process called abiogenesis. David Warmflash et al.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Series of steps The new equation breaks down the process of abiogenesis—the formation of life from nonliving components—into a series of simpler factors. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, 11 July 2016 The sparking of life from lifelessness—known as abiogenesis—is a process that scientists are only beginning to understand. David W. Brown, Smithsonian, 2 July 2018 John Baross, a microbiologist at the University of Washington who studies the origins of life, explained that abiogenesis might well have happened repeatedly, creating a menagerie of genetic codes, structures and metabolisms on early Earth. Quanta Magazine, 2 Feb. 2016 This produces the ‘abiogenesis zone’ — Goldilocks planets where there was enough UV light to activate organic chemistry. Jamie Seidel, Fox News, 3 Aug. 2018 Like abiogenesis in the primordial soup, sometimes the conditions all have to align for a technology to become usable by the general public. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 13 Feb. 2018 This is the first time so many scientific models from different fields of study were combined to study abiogenesis, and the disparate science models came together to create a surprisingly cohesive picture of how life emerged on our planet. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, 2 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abiogenesis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

a- entry 2 + bio- + genesis

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abiogenesis was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near abiogenesis

Cite this Entry

“Abiogenesis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abiogenesis. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Medical Definition

abiogenesis

noun

abio·​gen·​e·​sis ˌā-ˌbī-ō-ˈjen-ə-səs How to pronounce abiogenesis (audio)
: the origin of life from nonliving matter
specifically : a theory in the evolution of early life on earth: organic molecules and subsequent simple life forms first originated from inorganic substances

More from Merriam-Webster on abiogenesis

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