par·​the·​no·​gen·​e·​sis | \ˌpär-thə-nō-ˈje-nə-səs \

Definition of parthenogenesis 

: reproduction by development of an unfertilized usually female gamete that occurs especially among lower plants and invertebrate animals

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Other Words from parthenogenesis

parthenogenetic \ ˌpär-​thə-​nō-​jə-​ˈne-​tik \ or less commonly parthenogenic \ ˌpär-​thə-​nō-​ˈje-​nik \ adjective
parthenogenetically \ ˌpär-​thə-​nō-​jə-​ˈne-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of parthenogenesis in a Sentence

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Capable of becoming pregnant all on her own, Leonie swiftly employed parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction that generates and grows embryos sans fertilization, a.k.a., sans help from Papa Shark. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "Female Shark Gets Pregnant on Her Own, Is the Ultimate Heartbreaker," 18 Jan. 2017 In the case of marmorkrebs, its origin and the parthenogenesis seem to be related. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Mutant crayfish got rid of males, and its clones are taking over the world," 6 Feb. 2018 Scientists have long known that female cockroaches, like many other species, can give birth through parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction in which the females produce eggs without male participation. Peter Landers, WSJ, "New Clues on Why You Can’t Escape Cockroaches," 20 Mar. 2017 The results of the tests showed that the Osedax worms had a high level of genetic diversity, and in most cases the difference between male and female mitochondrial DNA allowed the idea of parthenogenesis to be rejected. Brian Switek, WIRED, "The strange sex lives of bone-eating whaleworms," 23 Apr. 2010

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

1849, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for parthenogenesis

New Latin, from Greek parthenos + Latin genesis genesis

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The first known use of parthenogenesis was in 1849

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More Definitions for parthenogenesis


par·​the·​no·​gen·​e·​sis | \ˌpär-thə-nō-ˈjen-ə-səs \
plural parthenogeneses\ -​ˌsēz \

Medical Definition of parthenogenesis 

: reproduction by development of an unfertilized usually female gamete that occurs especially among lower plants and invertebrate animals

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