mutate

verb
mu·​tate | \ ˈmyü-ˌtāt How to pronounce mutate (audio) , myü-ˈtāt How to pronounce mutate (audio) \
mutated; mutating

Definition of mutate

transitive verb

: to cause to undergo mutation

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Other Words from mutate

mutative \ ˈmyü-​ˌtā-​tiv How to pronounce mutative (audio) , -​tə-​tiv How to pronounce mutative (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for mutate

Synonyms

change, fluctuate, shift, snap, vary

Antonyms

plateau, stabilize

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Examples of mutate in a Sentence

a disease that mutates genes in humans a group of mutated genes Over time, her feelings mutated from hatred into love. opera singers mutating into pop stars
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Recent Examples on the Web

When tested in mice, the bacteria eventually mutated away from the genetic circuit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From rock/paper/scissors to new cancer-fighting concept from UCSD scientists," 6 Sep. 2019 The Kivu Ebola, so far, has mutated into four lineages. Richard Preston, The New Yorker, "Is Ebola Evolving Into a More Deadly Virus?," 7 Aug. 2019 Ebola mutates quickly and ably, adapting to survive. Dallas News, "Amid a new outbreak, book revisits Ebola's ravages," 5 Aug. 2019 And to date, biologists studying other species have seen venom genes evolve at a breakneck pace: The conotoxins employed by cone snails, for example, are known to mutate rapidly. Quanta Magazine, "Moonlighting Genes Evolve for a Venomous Job," 22 June 2017 In professional baseball, sign stealing is simply against the sport’s insufferable and ever-mutating unwritten rules. Dennis Young, courant.com, "New Hampshire Little League team accuses Rhode Island of stealing signs while playing regional in Connecticut," 14 Aug. 2019 The longer the outbreak is allowed to continue, the greater the chances that Ebola will mutate, get better at spreading in humans, and vastly enlarge its circle of victims. Richard Preston, The New Yorker, "Is Ebola Evolving Into a More Deadly Virus?," 7 Aug. 2019 This ability to rapidly mutate makes it a moving target — no match for a vaccine designed to protect against a single strain. Emily Baumgaertner, Los Angeles Times, "HIV prevention is making progress. And a breakthrough vaccine appears within reach," 6 Sep. 2019 Compared to humans, whales and elephants can have hundreds of times the number of cells—and have similarly long natural lifespans—but their cells mutate, become cancerous, and kill them less frequently. Doug Johnson, Quartz, "Elephants and whales could give us the cure for cancer—unless we keep killing them," 14 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mutate.' 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 mutate

1818, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for mutate

Latin mutatus, past participle of mutare

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Statistics for mutate

Last Updated

19 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mutate

The first known use of mutate was in 1818

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More Definitions for mutate

mutate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of mutate

: to cause (a gene) to change and create an unusual characteristic in a plant or animal : to cause mutation in (a gene)
: to change and cause an unusual characteristic to develop in a plant or animal
: to change into something very different

mutate

verb
mu·​tate | \ ˈmyü-ˌtāt How to pronounce mutate (audio) \
mutated; mutating

Kids Definition of mutate

: to undergo genetic mutation

mutate

verb
mu·​tate | \ ˈmyü-ˌtāt How to pronounce mutate (audio) , myü-ˈ How to pronounce mutate (audio) \
mutated; mutating

Medical Definition of mutate

transitive verb

: to cause to undergo mutation

Other Words from mutate

mutative \ ˈmyü-​ˌtāt-​iv How to pronounce mutative (audio) , ˈmyüt-​ət-​ How to pronounce mutative (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on mutate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mutate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mutate

Spanish Central: Translation of mutate

Nglish: Translation of mutate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mutate for Arabic Speakers

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