mutation

noun
mu·​ta·​tion | \ myü-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce mutation (audio) \

Definition of mutation

1 : a significant and basic alteration : change
2 : umlaut
3a : a relatively permanent change in hereditary material that involves either a change in chromosome structure or number (as in translocation, deletion, duplication, or polyploidy) or a change in the nucleotide sequence of a gene's codons (as in frameshift or missense errors) and that occurs either in germ cells or in somatic cells but with only those in germ cells being capable of perpetuation by sexual reproduction Mutations known to cause disease have been identified in approximately 1000 genes.— Alan E. Guttmacher and Francis S. Collins also : the process of producing a mutation Microorganisms have been used extensively to study mutation— George A. Wistreich et al.
b : an individual, strain, or trait resulting from mutation The worst E. coli bacterium, E. coli 0157:H, a mutation discovered in 1982 that has at least sixty-two subtypes, causes hemorrhagic colitis …— Wayne Biddle

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Other Words from mutation

mutational \ myü-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce mutational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
mutationally adverb

Examples of mutation in a Sentence

The cat's short tail is the result of mutation. The condition is caused by a genetic mutation. The cat's short tail is the result of a mutation. The building is a mutation of the original design.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Only about one percent of people of European descent have two copies of this mutation and would make suitable donors. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Patient with HIV Has Gone Into Remission—Only the Second Case in Recorded Medical History," 6 Mar. 2019 But if a polyp develops a few more mutations, cancer can begin to develop. Gina Kolata, New York Times, "Gut Microbes Combine to Cause Colon Cancer, Study Suggests," 1 Feb. 2018 The team fixed a mutation by removing a disease-causing gene from an embryo. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, "Human Embryo Gets CRISPR Treatment," 29 Dec. 2017 The larger the creature, the higher the chance of mutations. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Exploding Stars Might Have Brought an End to the Prehistoric Megalodon," 14 Dec. 2018 With herpes simplex encephalitis, one category of mutations lays carriers open to infection in the front of the brain. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "Extreme Flu? Weird Encephalitis? It May Be Your Genes," 13 July 2018 But usually only one of these mutations actually causes a child’s disease. Emery Smith, National Geographic, "Tiny Mummy’s ‘Alien’ Appearance Finally Explained," 22 Mar. 2018 The test, which examines DNA via saliva samples, will be able to detect three of the BRCA mutations most common in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. Washington Post, "The Health 202: UnitedHealthcare will hand some consumers more money for drug prices," 7 Mar. 2018 The seizures were traced to a pair of genetic mutations causing a rare condition called pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy which is treatable with a form of vitamin B6. Paul Sisson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Rady Children's Institute sets Guinness world record," 12 Feb. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for mutation

Last Updated

19 May 2019

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Time Traveler for mutation

The first known use of mutation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for mutation

mutation

noun
mu·​ta·​tion | \ myü-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce mutation (audio) \

Kids Definition of mutation

: a change in a gene or the resulting new trait it produces in an individual

mutation

noun
mu·​ta·​tion | \ myü-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce mutation (audio) \

Medical Definition of mutation

1 : a relatively permanent change in hereditary material that involves either a change in chromosome structure or number (as in translocation, deletion, duplication, or polyploidy) or a change in the nucleotide sequence of a gene's codons (as in frameshift or missense errors) and occurs either in germ cells or in somatic cells but with only those in germ cells being capable of perpetuation by sexual reproduction also : the process of producing a mutation
2 : an individual, strain, or trait resulting from mutation

Other Words from mutation

mutational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce mutational (audio) \ adjective
mutationally \ -​ē How to pronounce mutationally (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on mutation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mutation

Spanish Central: Translation of mutation

Nglish: Translation of mutation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mutation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mutation

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