mu·​ta·​gen | \ ˈmyü-tə-jən How to pronounce mutagen (audio) \

Definition of mutagen

: an agent (such as a chemical or various radiations) that tends to increase the frequency or extent of mutation

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from mutagen

mutagenic \ ˌmyü-​tə-​ˈje-​nik How to pronounce mutagenic (audio) \ adjective
mutagenically \ ˌmyü-​tə-​ˈje-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce mutagenically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of mutagen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The fallout leads to three samples of an experimental mutagen dropping through the atmosphere and landing on Earth, where a wolf, an alligator, and George are all infected. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Rampage is laughably dumb, but at least there’s plenty of rampaging," 11 Apr. 2018 The main villain is not Shredder, but instead a cat named Old Hob, who was also transformed by the same mutagen that brought The Turtles to their current state. Dak, WIRED, "GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — June 20th, 2012," 20 June 2012

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

First Known Use of mutagen

1933, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mutagen

International Scientific Vocabulary mutation + -gen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mutagen

Statistics for mutagen

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mutagen

The first known use of mutagen was in 1933

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mutagen


mu·​ta·​gen | \ ˈmyüt-ə-jən How to pronounce mutagen (audio) \

Medical Definition of mutagen

: a substance (as a chemical or various radiations) that tends to increase the frequency or extent of mutation

More from Merriam-Webster on mutagen Encyclopedia article about mutagen

Comments on mutagen

What made you want to look up mutagen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!