ga·​me·​to·​phyte gə-ˈmē-tə-ˌfīt How to pronounce gametophyte (audio)
: the haploid multicellular individual or generation of a plant or alga with alternation of generations that begins with a haploid spore, produces gametes by mitotic division, and ends with fertilization producing a diploid zygote and that constitutes the visibly dominant form in mosses and algae, exists as an independent plant body in ferns and their relatives, and is reduced to a microscopic or rudimentary state in seed plants compare sporophyte
gametophytic adjective

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Nowellia curvifolia (leafy liverwort) gametophyte, berberine stained. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 21 Oct. 2014

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

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Word History


gameto- + -phyte (after sporophyte)

First Known Use

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gametophyte was circa 1889

Dictionary Entries Near gametophyte

Cite this Entry

“Gametophyte.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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Medical Definition



ga·​me·​to·​phyte gə-ˈmēt-ə-ˌfīt How to pronounce gametophyte (audio)
: the individual or generation of a plant exhibiting alternation of generations that bears sex organs compare sporophyte

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