plu·​ri·​po·​ten·​cy ˌplu̇r-ə-ˈpō-tᵊn-sē How to pronounce pluripotency (audio)
: the property or state of being pluripotent
Just like embryonic stem cells, these reprogrammed cells seemed capable of becoming any of the 200-plus cell types in the human body, an ability called pluripotencyPatrick Barry
pluripotency has long been the elusive core of germinal development that, if properly controlled, could lead to organ and tissue regeneration in humans.Kitchener D. Wilson and Joseph C. Wu

Examples of pluripotency in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wu says that for him, the key value of the study comes in proving out the high pluripotency of the stem cells that scientists use in the lab. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2023 This process endows them with pluripotency, or the ability to become any type of cell, including neural stem cells. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, 2 Jan. 2019 It was long assumed that when these embryonic cells lose their pluripotency, that versatility is gone forever. Philip Ball, Scientific American, 18 Apr. 2023 Reversely, genes related to pluripotency, or a cell’s capacity to branch out into many different types of cells or tissues in the body, went the other way. Stav Dimitropoulos, Popular Mechanics, 6 Apr. 2023 But this ability, known as pluripotency, is hard won. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2011 Copy number variation and selection during reprogramming to pluripotency. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 2 Mar. 2011 The pluripotency genes then returned to dormancy when the process was complete. Veronique Greenwood,, 6 Sep. 2022 While pluripotency is an amazing attribute of cellular biology, studies have also found that inducing a transformation from that be-anything state can increase the chances of a malignant mutation that causes a cancerous tumor to form. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1927, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pluripotency was in 1927

Dictionary Entries Near pluripotency

Cite this Entry

“Pluripotency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


plu·​ri·​po·​ten·​cy ˌplu̇r-ə-ˈpōt-ᵊn-sē How to pronounce pluripotency (audio)
plural pluripotencies
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