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 To learn more about your subtype and mutation status and what that might mean for you in terms of treatment options, check out www. Alice Oglethorpe, Good Housekeeping, "5 Things Doctors Wish You Knew About Metastatic Breast Cancer," 3 Aug. 2020 With advances in gene-editing technology, biomedicine is entering an uncharted era in which a genetic mutation can be reversed, not only for one person but also for subsequent generations. Katie Hafner, Star Tribune, "Gene editing is a looming reality," 30 July 2020 In a substitution mutation, a single letter in a string of nucleotides may be switched out for another. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "DNA Is Millions of Times More Efficient Than Your Computer's Hard Drive," 25 July 2020 Fauci said there is no connection to patient outcomes yet and acknowledged virologists are still working to understand the mutation. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus updates: US surpasses 52K daily cases; Jersey Shore open, California beaches closed for July 4th; Texas mask mandate begins," 4 July 2020 The study was published in the journal Cell and confirms earlier work suggesting the mutation made the new variant of virus more common. Faith Karimi And Steve Almasy, CNN, "Coronavirus infections going up in 36 states as July Fourth weekend starts," 3 July 2020 Engelthaler thinks this mutation could be making the virus less deadly. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "Mutation in dominant Arizona coronavirus strain may make it more infectious," 11 July 2020 Pandemic/protest parent thought: The baby must have caught a mutation of the virus that no one has ever seen before. Caille Millner, SFChronicle.com, "Millner: Yes, raising a baby in 2020 is beyond surreal," 10 July 2020 There is increasing evidence that a specific mutation allows the virus to be more contagious, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus updates: US surpasses 52K daily cases; Jersey Shore open, California beaches closed for July 4th; Texas mask mandate begins," 4 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for mutation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for mutation

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mutation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mutation. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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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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