as·​sor·​ta·​tive ə-ˈsȯr-tə-tiv How to pronounce assortative (audio)
: being nonrandom mating based on like or unlike characteristics
assortatively adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Opposing forces influence assortative mating so that one seeks a similar mate while at the same time avoiding inbreeding with close relatives. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 24 July 2013 Model fits indicate that both pleiotropy and assortative mating contribute significantly and about equally to this genetic correlation. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 11 Apr. 2013 Even taking assortative mating into account, that argument would still appear to hold water. Grace Huckins, WIRED, 12 Dec. 2022 What all this amounts to is, in essence, a supercharged version of an existing process known as assortative mating. The Economist, 9 Nov. 2019 Thus Facebook is remaking the old world that was governed by social ties, probably reducing any benefits that may have come with less assortative coupling through online dating. The Economist, 12 Sep. 2019 Evidence suggests assortative mating is more common, meaning men with money and education now tend to marry women who have those qualities too. Allison Schrager, Quartz, 23 July 2019 That high level of assortative mating was massively inflating the heritability estimate. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, 8 Nov. 2018 The Atlantic piece takes a more sociological approach, looking at assortative mating, geographical self-sorting, and educational legacy and privilege. Alan Murray, Fortune, 17 May 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of assortative was in 1895

Dictionary Entries Near assortative

Cite this Entry

“Assortative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


as·​sor·​ta·​tive ə-ˈsȯrt-ət-iv How to pronounce assortative (audio)
: being nonrandom mating based on like or unlike characteristics
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love It or Hate It

  • heart-fire
  • When asked about her blind date, Carol spoke for hours with vitriol.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?