ho·​mo·​pla·​sy ˈhō-mə-ˌplā-sē How to pronounce homoplasy (audio)
plural homoplasies
evolutionary biology
: correspondence or similarity in form or function between parts of different species or lineages that is not attributable to common ancestry but is the result especially of parallel or convergent evolution in similar environments or ecological niches compare analogy, homology

Word History

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of homoplasy was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near homoplasy

Cite this Entry

“Homoplasy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homoplasy. Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


: correspondence between parts or organs acquired as the result of parallel evolution or convergence

More from Merriam-Webster on homoplasy

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