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 To put it plainly, the discovery that monoamine neurotransmitters control epigenetic regulation of genes is transformative for basic science and medicine. Quanta Magazine, "The Epigenetic Secrets Behind Dopamine, Drug Addiction and Depression," 27 Oct. 2020 These epigenetic modifications were probably cemented into the DNA of Quechua because they were exposed to low oxygen conditions before birth and during childhood. Freda Kreier, Science | AAAS, "High-altitude living has changed more than just the genes of some Peruvians," 22 Dec. 2020 In epigenetic inheritance, the DNA code is not altered, but access to it is. Quanta Magazine, "The Epigenetic Secrets Behind Dopamine, Drug Addiction and Depression," 27 Oct. 2020 The general features of the epigenetic landscape and transcriptional output will be routinely incorporated into predictive models of the effect of genotype on phenotype. Eric D. Green, Scientific American, "A Vision for the Next Decade of Human Genomics Research," 28 Oct. 2020 Looking ahead, Maze wonders if such epigenetic changes might also occur in response to other addictive drugs, including heroin, alcohol and nicotine. Quanta Magazine, "The Epigenetic Secrets Behind Dopamine, Drug Addiction and Depression," 27 Oct. 2020 If that proves to be true, Marlin plans to find and potentially even modify the epigenetic switches responsible for changing the children’s biology or behavior—ultimately improving the outcomes for the children. Popular Science, "This neurobiologist wants to know if children can inherit trauma genetically," 21 Oct. 2020 His paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the next year went further by showing that epigenetic changes are responsible for this training. Quanta Magazine, "‘Trained Immunity’ Offers Hope in Fight Against Coronavirus," 14 Sep. 2020 Happily, the epigenetic clock calculation goes in his favor. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "Here’s a better way to convert dog years to human years, scientists say," 15 Nov. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of epigenetic was in 1883

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Statistics for epigenetic

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Epigenetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epigenetic. Accessed 15 Jan. 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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