abiogenesis

noun
abio·gen·e·sis | \ˌā-ˌbī-ō-ˈje-nə-səs \

Definition of abiogenesis 

: 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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from abiogenesis

abiogenist \ˌā-(ˌ)bī-ˈä-jə-nist \ noun

Examples of abiogenesis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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, "Here’s what Siri would have been like on MS-DOS in 1987," 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, "New Study Suggests Life Started on Earth Much Earlier Than Thought," 2 Oct. 2017

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.

First Known Use of abiogenesis

1870, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abiogenesis

a- entry 2 + bio- + genesis

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abiogenesis

Share abiogenesis

Statistics for abiogenesis

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abiogenesis

The first known use of abiogenesis was in 1870

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for abiogenesis

abiogenesis

noun
abio·gen·e·sis | \ˌā-ˌbī-ō-ˈjen-ə-səs \

Medical Definition of abiogenesis 

: the supposed spontaneous origination of living organisms directly from lifeless matter

called also spontaneous generation

— compare biogenesis

Other Words from abiogenesis

abiogenist \ˌā-(ˌ)bī-ˈäj-ə-nəst \ or abiogenesist \-ˌbī-ō-ˈjen-ə-səst \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on abiogenesis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about abiogenesis

Comments on abiogenesis

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

WORD OF THE DAY

evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!