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 mutation (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 building is a mutation of the original design.
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Recent Examples on the Web The sweepstakes is one of various ways officials are trying to boost inoculation rates for those 12 and older as the more aggressive delta variant, a mutation that originated in India, has become the dominant strain in the U.S. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 28 July 2021 Federal scientists are concerned that if the virus continues to spread among unvaccinated Americans, a new mutation could emerge that could be deadly even to those already vaccinated. Brian Bennett, Time, 27 July 2021 Enter the Delta variant: a particularly problematic mutation believed to be twice as transmissible as the conventional coronavirus strains. Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2021 So, if people would get vaccinated, there’d be less transmission and, therefore, less mutation and less danger. ABC News, 25 July 2021 The variant carries a genetic mutation that helps it to bind more easily to ACE2, a protein on some human cells, potentially enabling it to cause infections more readily. Jason Gale, Bloomberg.com, 23 July 2021 The unvaccinated are mainstreaming, going maskless and hosting the virus’s giant mutation parties. Washington Post, 22 July 2021 While another mutation of COVID-19 may seem like cause for alarm, medical experts aren't too concerned about the Lambda variant at this time. Erin Corbett, refinery29.com, 22 July 2021 But what has happened across the country in these recent weeks — championed by Afghan leaders — is a new mutation that many fear is an all-too-close echo of the way Afghanistan fell into civil war in the 1990s. New York Times, 17 July 2021

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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Learn More About mutation

Time Traveler for mutation

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near mutation

mutate

mutation

mutation plural

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Statistics for mutation

Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mutation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mutation. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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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 mutation (audio) \ adjective
mutationally \ -​ē How to pronounce mutation (audio) \ adverb

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