phy·​lo·​ge·​net·​ic | \ ˌfī-lō-jə-ˈne-tik \

Definition of phylogenetic

1 : of or relating to phylogeny
2 : based on natural evolutionary relationships
3 : acquired in the course of phylogenetic development : racial

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Other Words from phylogenetic

phylogenetically \ ˌfī-​lō-​jə-​ˈne-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of phylogenetic in a Sentence

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But horizontal gene transfer is most frequent among microbes—especially our newfound friends, archaea—and HGT appears to generate a large share of the phylogenetic interconnections that make life such a tangled tree. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘The Tangled Tree’ Review: From Tiny Seeds," 9 Aug. 2018 Steppe by steppe That branching seems to have been part of a Y. pestis population explosion around 4,000 years ago, which is when phylogenetic analysis of ancient bacterial genomes suggests that plague strains diversified rapidly. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "4,000-year-old genomes point to origins of bubonic plague," 12 June 2018 And according to a phylogenetic tree mapping the evolutionary relationship between the genomes, one of the nine major genotypes circulating today was the product of an ancient recombination between two strains of the hepatitis B virus. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Genghis Khan’s Mongol horde probably had rampant Hepatitis B," 11 May 2018 The team used the phylogenetic trees to estimate how long ago each branch of the tree split off from the others. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Polynesians may not have gone grocery shopping in South America," 12 Apr. 2018 Based on a 1980 book by biologists Niles Eldredge and Joel Cracraft, under the definition of a phylogenetic species, animal species now can differ by just 2 percent of their DNA to be considered separate. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "What Does It Mean to Be a Species? Genetics Is Changing the Answer," 19 May 2017 Collins points out that medievalists studying copying errors in manuscripts have long used the same phylogenetic programs that evolutionary biologists use to study how DNA mutations appear over time. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "Sampling DNA From a 1,000-Year-Old Illuminated Manuscript," 8 Aug. 2017 The team combined the new fossil evidence with previously collected genetic data from living birds to update the phylogenetic tree of bird evolution. Carolyn Gramling, Science | AAAS, "Tiny fossil reveals what happened to birds after dinosaurs went extinct," 10 July 2017 Any phylogenetic tree is a hypothesis, subject to testing and change with additional analysis and discovery. Brian Switek, Scientific American Blog Network, "Shaking the Dinosaur Family Tree," 15 May 2017

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

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phylogenetic

International Scientific Vocabulary, from New Latin phylogenesis phylogeny, from phyl- + genesis

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Last Updated

22 Nov 2018

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The first known use of phylogenetic was in 1876

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phy·​lo·​ge·​net·​ic | \ ˌfī-lō-jə-ˈnet-ik \

Medical Definition of phylogenetic

1 : of or relating to phylogeny
2 : based on natural evolutionary relationships
3 : acquired in the course of phylogenetic development

Other Words from phylogenetic

phylogenetically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Comments on phylogenetic

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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