het·​er·​o·​sis | \ ˌhe-tə-ˈrō-səs How to pronounce heterosis (audio) \

Definition of heterosis

: the marked vigor or capacity for growth often exhibited by crossbred animals or plants

called also hybrid vigor

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Other Words from heterosis

heterotic \ ˌhe-​tə-​ˈrä-​tik How to pronounce heterosis (audio) \ adjective

Examples of heterosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s because most wild pigs in the U.S. are some level of hybrid between domestic pigs and wild boars, creating heterosis or hybrid vigor. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 5 Oct. 2020

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

First Known Use of heterosis

1914, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for heterosis

New Latin

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Time Traveler for heterosis

Time Traveler

The first known use of heterosis was in 1914

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Statistics for heterosis

Cite this Entry

“Heterosis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heterosis. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for heterosis


het·​er·​o·​sis | \ ˌhet-ə-ˈrō-səs How to pronounce heterosis (audio) \
plural heteroses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce heterosis (audio) \

Medical Definition of heterosis

: a marked vigor or capacity for growth that is often shown by crossbred animals or plants

called also hybrid vigor

Other Words from heterosis

heterotic \ -​ˈrät-​ik How to pronounce heterosis (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on heterosis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heterosis


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