het·​er·​ol·​o·​gous ˌhe-tə-ˈrä-lə-gəs How to pronounce heterologous (audio)
: derived from a different species
heterologously adverb

Examples of heterologous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is not entirely surprising given that mixing vaccines—a practice known as heterologous prime-boost—has been tested out with the Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis vaccine, among several others. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 12 Aug. 2021 The study did find that such heterologous boosting with the Nuvaxovid Covid-19 booster did result in enhanced cross-reactive immunity as measured by antibody levels against the Omicron BA.1 and BA.5 subvariants. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2022 Authorization of this booster possibility would then offer even more heterologous booster possibilities. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 15 July 2022 For example, the cure rate of Clostridioides difficile with heterologous FMT is up to 90 percent. Sarah Sloat, NBC News, 30 June 2022 Of the 98 participants, 50 went on to get another Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose for their booster (homologous booster), while the remaining 48 received a Moderna booster (heterologous booster). Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 13 May 2022 Scientists have long suspected that heterologous prime-boosts sometimes work better than two identical doses. New York Times, 19 Oct. 2021 Nowhere among them was a question about whether J&J vaccine recipients ought to get a heterologous boost, in other words a boost with a different vaccine. Helen Branswell, STAT, 15 Oct. 2021 This strategy is technically known as a heterologous prime-boost. New York Times, 19 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heterologous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


heter- + -logous (as in homologous)

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heterologous was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near heterologous

Cite this Entry

“Heterologous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heterologous. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


het·​er·​ol·​o·​gous ˌhet-ə-ˈräl-ə-gəs How to pronounce heterologous (audio)
: derived from a different species
heterologous DNAs
heterologous transplants
compare autologous, homologous sense 2a
: characterized by cross-reactivity
a heterologous vaccine protects against pathogenic antigens that cross-react with antibodies induced by antigens in the vaccine
heterologously adverb
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