mitosis

noun
mi·​to·​sis | \ mī-ˈtō-səs How to pronounce mitosis (audio) \
plural mitoses\ mī-​ˈtō-​ˌsēz How to pronounce mitoses (audio) \

Definition of mitosis

1 : a process that takes place in the nucleus of a dividing cell, involves typically a series of steps consisting of prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase, and results in the formation of two new nuclei each having the same number of chromosomes as the parent nucleus — compare meiosis
2 : cell division in which mitosis occurs

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Other Words from mitosis

mitotic \ mī-​ˈtä-​tik How to pronounce mitotic (audio) \ adjective
mitotically \ mī-​ˈtä-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce mitotically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of mitosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But that messiness poses a problem during mitosis, when the cell has to make a copy of its genetic material and divide in two. Quanta Magazine, "How Cells Pack Tangled DNA Into Neat Chromosomes," 22 Feb. 2018 This sort of movement-mitosis appears to be an essential element in the natural physiology of social justice campaigns. Elaine Weiss, Time, "Women's Movements Are Facing Internal Divisions. History Shows That's Not Necessarily a Bad Thing," 6 Mar. 2018 In another, a flower girl splits in two, like a cell undergoing mitosis. David Pagel, latimes.com, "Paul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth: A horror show on a grand, exquisite scale," 14 Aug. 2017 These critters have a gestation time measured in minutes — a real challenge for mitosis but an advantage in avoiding tiresome delays in the storyline. Seth Shostak, NBC News, "‘Alien: Covenant’ Offers Ghoulish Fun But ‘Tinsel Town Science’," 22 May 2017 Which leads to another problem: With 1,000 casinos in existence and more coming all the time, not only are there too many competitors entering the market, but the sites already up and running are prone to mitosis. Mark Schone, WIRED, "EPZ Money," 1 Nov. 2000

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

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First Known Use of mitosis

1887, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mitosis

borrowed from German Mitosis (later Mitose), from Greek mítos "length of thread, cord used to separate warp threads" (of uncertain origin) + -ōsis -osis

Note: Term coined by the German biologist Walther Flemming (1843-1905) in Zellsubstanz, Kern und Zelltheilung (Leipzig, 1882), p. 376. Flemming introduces the word first in the compound Karyomitosis as a replacement for Karyokinesis to denote specifically "the metamorphosis of threads in the nucleus" ("Fadenmetamorphose im Kern"). In following sentences he uses the truncated form in the plural Mitosen for mitotic figures ("Kerntheilungsfiguren," i.e, the spindle-shaped figures presented by the chromosomes during mitosis) and in the singular Mitosis for the process of division.

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Time Traveler for mitosis

Time Traveler

The first known use of mitosis was in 1887

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Cite this Entry

“Mitosis.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mitosis. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for mitosis

mitosis

noun
mi·​to·​sis | \ mī-ˈtō-səs How to pronounce mitosis (audio) \
plural mitoses\ -​ˈtō-​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of mitosis

: a process of cell division in which two new nuclei are formed each containing the original number of chromosomes

mitosis

noun
mi·​to·​sis | \ mī-ˈtō-səs How to pronounce mitosis (audio) \
plural mitoses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce mitoses (audio) \

Medical Definition of mitosis

1 : a process that takes place in the nucleus of a dividing cell, involves typically a series of steps consisting of prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase, and results in the formation of two new nuclei each having the same number of chromosomes as the parent nucleus — compare meiosis
2 : cell division in which mitosis occurs

Other Words from mitosis

mitotic \ -​ˈtät-​ik How to pronounce mitotic (audio) \ adjective
mitotically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce mitotically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on mitosis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mitosis

Spanish Central: Translation of mitosis

Nglish: Translation of mitosis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mitosis

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