phenotype

1 of 2

noun

phe·​no·​type ˈfē-nə-ˌtīp How to pronounce phenotype (audio)
plural phenotypes
1
: the observable characteristics or traits of an organism that are produced by the interaction of the genotype and the environment : the physical expression of one or more genes
Considering that modern maize is a tetraploid, it is remarkable how many single gene mutations cause profound changes in phenotype.Virginia Walbot
A breed is a group of genetically related individuals with a common phenotype—physical characteristics, such as ear and muzzle shapes, and behavioral tendencies, such as those of a retriever to swim or a border collie to herd …Mark Derr
Phenotype is how that DNA physically manifests itself—in this case, as the susceptibility to disease, or the progression of disease, or the susceptibility of the disease itself to treatment, all of which likely have a genetic component.Gary Taubes
2
: the observable characteristics or traits of a disease
… a mild disorder whose clinical phenotype overlaps with that of the Marfan syndrome …Petros Tsipouras et al.
phenotypic adjective
or less commonly phenotypical
phenotypic variation
phenotypic expression
phenotypically adverb
phenotypically similar populations

phenotype

2 of 2

verb

phenotyped; phenotyping; phenotypes

transitive verb

: to determine, analyze, or predict all or part of a phenotype of
Red cells were phenotyped as M + or M -.Raymond L. Comenzo et al.
… a team … recently decided to examine the data collected so far to determine how many of the phenotyped mice had eye problems.Michelle Wong
The asthma in these patients was not phenotyped. We do not have any information regarding the eosinophil count or other markers such as exhaled oral nitric oxide in these subjects.Faria Nasim

Examples of phenotype in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
These phenotypes form the basis of the face renderings the company generates for law enforcement. Dhruv Mehrotra, WIRED, 22 Jan. 2024 Combining the individuals with promising genotypes and favorable phenotypes across the population gives kākāpō the best chance of continuing to produce viable offspring. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 12 Sep. 2023 Patients need access to all medications empowering physicians to treat the different disease phenotypes most effectively. George Hampton, STAT, 14 Dec. 2023 Are all genotypes with one phenotype in one corner of that space? Veronique Greenwood, Quanta Magazine, 15 Aug. 2023 The team is also using the phenotype and genotype data to determine how to grow plants without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. IEEE Spectrum, 26 Apr. 2022 One thing her team proposes is an approach based on patterns, in the groups of people who are affected, to describe a phenotype of a cancer-at-risk person. Sofia Quaglia, Discover Magazine, 31 Oct. 2023 People started to create collections of genotypes and studied their phenotypes. Veronique Greenwood, Quanta Magazine, 15 Aug. 2023 Science is another culprit; the same glitches in our DNA can produce disparate phenotypes. Hamilton Cain, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2023
Verb
The European Union spent some €250 million (about US $300 million) between 2005 and 2015 on plant phenotyping research infrastructure, and American crop giants and government agencies are spending millions on this research alongside major breeding companies such as Syngenta and Bayer. IEEE Spectrum, 19 Dec. 2018 To Tobias Warnecke, a molecular evolutionary biologist at Imperial College London, fitness landscapes are an invaluable way to connect genotype to phenotype. Quanta Magazine, 11 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'phenotype.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

German Phänotypus, from Greek phainein to show + typos type

First Known Use

Noun

1910, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phenotype was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near phenotype

Cite this Entry

“Phenotype.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phenotype. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

phenotype

noun
phe·​no·​type ˈfē-nə-ˌtīp How to pronounce phenotype (audio)
: the visible characteristics of a plant or animal that result from the combined effects of the genes and the environment
phenotypic adjective

Medical Definition

phenotype

noun
phe·​no·​type ˈfē-nə-ˌtīp How to pronounce phenotype (audio)
1
: the observable characteristics or traits of an organism that are produced by the interaction of the genotype and the environment : the physical expression of one or more genes
Considerable data on ABO blood group phenotypes and alleles now exist showing marked differentiation between geographical areas such as Europe and Asia …J.A. Beardmore et al.
The mice also developed an osteoporotic phenotype that was not due to a defect in osteoblast differentiation, but rather to a marked decline in the output of bone matrix per osteoblast.Patrick Ducy et al.
2
: the observable characteristics or traits of a disease
… a mild disorder whose clinical phenotype overlaps with that of the Marfan syndrome …Petros Tsipouras et al.
phenotypic adjective
also phenotypical
phenotypically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on phenotype

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!