phylogeny

noun
phy·​log·​e·​ny | \ fī-ˈlä-jə-nē How to pronounce phylogeny (audio) \
plural phylogenies

Definition of phylogeny

1 : the evolutionary history of a kind of organism
2 : the evolution of a genetically related group of organisms as distinguished from the development of the individual organism
3 : the history or course of the development of something (such as a word or custom)

Examples of phylogeny in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Overview of the history of discovery, taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of Majungasaurus crenatissimus from the late Cretaceous of Madagascar. Fox News, "70M year-old dinosaur replaced its teeth as fast as sharks," 3 Dec. 2019 So this evidence provides information about the timing of arrival of this ancestry type, and their movement parallels the linguistic phylogeny of Indo-European languages, which today are spoken in places as far away as Ireland to New Delhi. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "Rare Ancient DNA Provides Window Into a 5,000-Year-Old South Asian Civilization," 5 Sep. 2019 As early as 1909, folklorists started comparing the evolution of stories and organisms, envisioning Linnaean taxonomies and evolutionary trees, or phylogenies, for myths and tales. Ferris Jabr, Harper's magazine, "The Story of Storytelling," 10 Mar. 2019 Creating a complete phylogeny of birds is likely to resolve this dispute, or at least offer new evidence. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "What We Can Learn From a New Bird Tree of Life," 21 Apr. 2018 Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project has the goal of creating a full tree of life, or phylogeny, for the world’s birds. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "What We Can Learn From a New Bird Tree of Life," 21 Apr. 2018 These phylogenies help researchers looking at the evolutionary histories of specific avian traits or the story of birds overall. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Bigger, better bird tree of life will soon fly into view," 16 Apr. 2018 The dinosaur family tree, or phylogeny, as scientists call it, underpins the major questions about how these creatures came to rule the Earth millions of years ago. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "Is the dinosaur family tree becoming a dinosaur?," 3 Nov. 2017 For living animals, building phylogenies can be a bit less controversial, because the animals’ genomes are available. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "Is the dinosaur family tree becoming a dinosaur?," 3 Nov. 2017

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

1869, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phylogeny

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for phylogeny

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The first known use of phylogeny was in 1869

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Cite this Entry

“Phylogeny.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phylogeny. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for phylogeny

phylogeny

noun
phy·​log·​e·​ny | \ fi-ˈläj-ə-nē How to pronounce phylogeny (audio) \
plural phylogenies

Medical Definition of phylogeny

1 : the evolutionary history of a kind of organism
2 : the evolution of a genetically related group of organisms as distinguished from the development of the individual organism

called also phylogenesis

— compare ontogeny

More from Merriam-Webster on phylogeny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with phylogeny

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phylogeny

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