biogenetic law


Definition of biogenetic law

: the theory of ontogenetic recapitulation

Examples of biogenetic law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Take Haeckel’s pet theory, the biogenetic law, which stipulates that the development of each embryo in utero echoes the evolution of its remote ancestors. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, "‘The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel’ Review: The Zoologist as Artist," 13 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of biogenetic law

1874, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of biogenetic law was in 1874

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Cite this Entry

“Biogenetic law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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biogenetic law


Medical Definition of biogenetic law

: a theory of development much disputed in biology: an organism passes through successive stages resembling the series of ancestral types from which it has descended so that the ontogeny of the individual is a recapitulation of the phylogeny of the group

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