on·​tog·​e·​ny | \ än-ˈtä-jə-nē How to pronounce ontogeny (audio) \

Definition of ontogeny

: the development or course of development especially of an individual organism

Examples of ontogeny in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Having a big nose: structure, ontogeny, and function of the elephant seal proboscis. Darren Naish, Scientific American Blog Network, "Incredible Elephant Seals, Part 1," 3 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ontogeny.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ontogeny

1872, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ontogeny

International Scientific Vocabulary

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The first known use of ontogeny was in 1872

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Cite this Entry

“Ontogeny.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ontogeny. Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for ontogeny


on·​tog·​e·​ny | \ än-ˈtäj-ə-nē How to pronounce ontogeny (audio) \
plural ontogenies

Medical Definition of ontogeny

: the development or course of development of an individual organism

called also ontogenesis

— compare phylogeny sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on ontogeny

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ontogeny

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