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

The mutations affect neuronal functioning in different ways, causing different forms of epilepsy. Scottie Andrew And Geetha Parachuru, CNN, "What is epilepsy? Here's what you need to know about the seizure-causing spectrum of disorders," 8 July 2019 The age of onset depends upon factors such as the mutation’s severity. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Experimental Huntington’s disease drug can be given less frequently," 1 July 2019 To determine that, the scientists genetically engineered zebrafish embryos to carry the mutation. STAT, "The boy was dying. Zebrafish helped save his life," 1 July 2019 Strengthening the case for its beneficial role in cold adaptation: The prevalence of the mutation increases with latitude. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "The World Is Our Niche," 3 June 2019 Thus, males can be carriers without showing the mutation, van Grouw explains. Jeff Mauritzen, National Geographic, "Rare pale-colored penguin and seals spotted on remote island," 25 Apr. 2019 About 1 in 11,000 children are born with SMA world-wide annually and roughly 1% to 2% of the population are carriers of the genetic mutation, Dr. Finkel says. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "One Family’s Struggle to Get Their Daughter Lifesaving Medication," 20 Jan. 2019 The other drug, MRTX849, is in early testing in people with advanced solid tumors that have a mutation in a gene called KRAS G12C. More information on the drugs can be found at clinicaltrials.gov by searching for their names. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cancer drug developer Mirati Therapeutics raising nearly $204 million," 25 June 2019 As further evidence of a single origin for bony headgear, Chinese water deer and two species of musk deer, both of which lack antlers, have a mutation in one of the genes linked to bone formation. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Cancer genes help deer antlers grow," 20 June 2019

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

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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