ap·​o·​mor·​phy | \ ˈa-pə-ˌmȯr-fē How to pronounce apomorphy (audio) \
plural apomorphies

Definition of apomorphy

biological taxonomy
: a specialized trait or character that is unique to a group or species : a character state (such as the presence of feathers) not present in an ancestral form In this case, white flowers are a derived condition, an apomorphy, and red flowers are the ancestral condition.— James D. Mauseth, Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology, 2009

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Other Words from apomorphy

apomorphic \ ¦a-​pə-​¦mȯr-​fik How to pronounce apomorphic (audio) \ or less commonly apomorph \ ˈa-​pə-​ˌmȯrf How to pronounce apomorph (audio) \ adjective
As far as possible, it is assumed that each apomorphic evolutionary event only occurred once in the history of each group of related taxa … — C. Barry Cox and Peter D. Moore, Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach, 2010 … such apomorph characters are believed to be found only among the descendants of the ancestor in which the character first occurred. — Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought, 1982

First Known Use of apomorphy

1969, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apomorphy

apomorphic or apomorphous (borrowed from German apomorph, from apo- “away from, apo-” + -morph “having such a structure, -morphous) + -y entry 2

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The first known use of apomorphy was in 1969

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to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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