ana·​gen·​e·​sis ˌa-nə-ˈje-nə-səs How to pronounce anagenesis (audio)
: evolutionary change producing a single lineage in which one taxon replaces another without branching compare cladogenesis

Examples of anagenesis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The difference between anagenesis — a linear progression from Species A to its descendent, Species B — and cladogenesis — when a single species A splits into two or more distinct descendent species (B, C, and so on) — may seem a bit in the weeds for the average armchair paleoanthropologist. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2019 The new paper also makes the case for D. horneri being an example of anagenesis, when enough changes accumulate over time to turn one species into another in a linear way, as opposed to cladogenesis, in which one ancestor species radiates into multiple other species. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 30 Mar. 2017 The process, called anagenesis, proposes that one species evolved into another. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 29 Dec. 2022 Evolution can take place by anagenesis, in which changes occur within a lineage. Julia Musto, Fox News, 5 Mar. 2022 And that overlap would imply that A. anamensis could not have evolved into A. afarensis by means of anagenesis. Kate Wong, Scientific American, 7 Dec. 2019 Based on the ages and characteristics of the available fossils, paleoanthropologists thought A. anamensis gave rise to A. afarensis through an evolutionary process termed anagenesis, in which one species transforms into another. Kate Wong, Scientific American, 7 Dec. 2019 But the case for cladogenesis over anagenesis hinges entirely on that 3.9-million-year-old forehead bone from Belohdelie belonging to A. afarensis—no other A. afarensis remains recovered thus far are that old. Kate Wong, Scientific American, 7 Dec. 2019 This challenges the long and widely-held view that Lucy’s species evolved gradually from A. anamensis without branching of the evolutionary line – a process known as anagenesis. Hester Hanegraef, Quartz Africa, 7 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

circa 1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anagenesis was circa 1882

Dictionary Entries Near anagenesis

Cite this Entry

“Anagenesis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on anagenesis

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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