ho·​me·​o·​tic ˌhō-mē-ˈä-tik How to pronounce homeotic (audio)
: relating to, caused by, or being a gene producing a usually major shift in the developmental fate of an organ or body part

Examples of homeotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Working at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Edward Lewis found that homeotic transformations were linked to a distinctive cluster of genes — at least in the fruit fly Drosophilia melanogaster, the experimental animal of choice in genetic laboratories for more than a century. Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2013

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

Word History


from homeosis, homoeosis a shift in structural development, from Greek homoiōsis assimilation, resemblance, from homoioun to make like, from homoios

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of homeotic was in 1894

Dictionary Entries Near homeotic

Cite this Entry

“Homeotic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homeotic. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants also homoeotic
: relating to, caused by, or being a homeotic gene
a homeotic mutant causing replacement of an antenna by a leg in a fruit fly
homeotically adverb
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