epi·​ge·​net·​ic | \ ˌe-pə-jə-ˈne-tik How to pronounce epigenetic (audio) \

Definition of epigenetic

1a : of, relating to, or produced by the chain of developmental processes in epigenesis that lead from genotype to phenotype after the initial action of the genes
b : relating to, being, or involving changes in gene function that do not involve changes in DNA sequence epigenetic inheritance
2 of a deposit or structure : formed after the laying down of the enclosing rock

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Other Words from epigenetic

epigenetically \ ˌe-​pə-​jə-​ˈne-​ti-​k(-​ə)lē How to pronounce epigenetic (audio) \ adverb

Examples of epigenetic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Along with differences in genetic code—which can indicate whether DNA comes from a transplanted organ or from a growing fetus—the new test (called GETMap, for genetic-epigenetic tissue mapping) also measures a phenomenon called DNA methylation. Anna Goshua, Scientific American, 19 July 2021 But to counteract this, the Welwitschia genome underwent widespread epigenetic changes that silenced the junk DNA through a process called DNA methylation. BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2021 Laboratory studies, including one by Cohn in 2019, have shown that DDT and other EDCs can lead to effects across generations via epigenetic changes, which alter how genes turn on and off. Carrie Arnold, Scientific American, 21 June 2021 The third platform is an epigenetic reprogramming platform spun out of David Sinclair’s lab. Alex Zhavoronkov, Forbes, 14 June 2021 There is evidence from animal research that these changes are at epigenetic level, which means these behaviors affect how genes are expressed, leading to changes in the neuronal connections and function. Arash Javanbakht, Quartz, 12 June 2021 But these tags — also known as epigenetic marks — tend to get more random over time, leading gene activity to become less precise. Bob Holmes, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 May 2021 Now, due to environmental and epigenetic stressors, women today can be as young as 38. Thatiana Diaz, refinery29.com, 14 Apr. 2021 Unlike mutations though, epigenetic effects are not mediated by any changes to the underlying sequence of DNA, just the selection of genes that get activated. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 5 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of epigenetic

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for epigenetic

epi- + genetic, after epigenesis

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Time Traveler for epigenetic

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The first known use of epigenetic was in 1883

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Dictionary Entries Near epigenetic



epigenetic drainage

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Last Updated

28 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Epigenetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epigenetic. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for epigenetic


epi·​ge·​net·​ic | \ -jə-ˈnet-ik How to pronounce epigenetic (audio) \

Medical Definition of epigenetic

1 : of, relating to, or produced by epigenesis the epigenetic nature of vertebrate development
2 : relating to, being, or involving a modification in gene expression that is independent of the DNA sequence of a gene epigenetic carcinogenesis epigenetic inheritance Methylation is one of many epigenetic signals—chemical changes to DNA and its associated proteins—that modify gene activity without altering the genetic information itself.— Tina Hesman Saey, Science News, 14 Feb. 2009

Other Words from epigenetic

epigenetically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce epigenetic (audio) \ adverb


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