mor·​pho·​gen·​e·​sis ˌmȯr-fə-ˈje-nə-səs How to pronounce morphogenesis (audio)
: the formation and differentiation of tissues and organs compare organogenesis

Examples of morphogenesis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The goal is not to create grotesque creatures such as the Fiji Mermaid but to understand more about the rules of natural morphogenesis (the development of biological form) and to make useful structures and devices by engineering living tissue for applications in medicine, robotics, and beyond. Philip Ball, Scientific American, 18 Apr. 2023 Self-organizing optic-cup morphogenesis in three-dimensional culture. Veronique Greenwood, Discover Magazine, 8 Apr. 2011 Hierarchical modularity and pattern completion can help understand the decision-making of cells and neurons during morphogenesis and brain processes, generating well adaptive animals and behavior. Rafael Yuste, Scientific American, 11 Dec. 2021 Researchers disagree about the role that bioelectricity plays in morphogenesis. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021 Among his enthusiasms were his work on various scientific themes, including morphogenesis, the theory of growth and form in biology; his continued secret ties to Britain’s postwar code breakers; and long-distance running. New York Times, 5 June 2019 Skeletal morphogenesis of Microbrachis and Hyloplesion (Tetrapoda: Lepospondyli), and implications for the developmental patterns of extinct, early tetrapods. Darren Naish, Scientific American Blog Network, 7 July 2017

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

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of morphogenesis was circa 1890

Dictionary Entries Near morphogenesis

Cite this Entry

“Morphogenesis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


mor·​pho·​gen·​e·​sis ˌmȯr-fə-ˈjen-ə-səs How to pronounce morphogenesis (audio)
plural morphogeneses -ˌsēz How to pronounce morphogenesis (audio)
: the development of normal form or structure especially as controlled by the growth, differentiation, and movement of cells and tissues
Deficiencies in neural plate development at early stages would lead not only to abnormal brain morphogenesis but also to deficient eye formation …Science

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