poly·​gen·​e·​sis ˌpä-lē-ˈje-nə-səs How to pronounce polygenesis (audio)
: development from more than one source

Examples of polygenesis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For over two centuries there has been a debate in the West between monogenesis and polygenesis . Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 27 Dec. 2011 The images of Renty and his daughter are part of Agassiz’s polygenesis work. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, 19 June 2019 But Agassiz also advocated polygenesis, the belief that humans weren’t all the same species and that white people were superior. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, 19 June 2019 Douglass was especially critical of the promotion of polygenesis: the idea that the races of humankind emerged in separate creation events and with unequal capacities. Britt Rusert, Slate Magazine, 1 Mar. 2017 Far less so is Samuel Morton (champion of the obsolete theory of polygenesis) or Thomas Dixon (author of novels romanticizing Klan violence). Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2017 This shaped his application of special creationism to humans, in a theory that came to be known as polygenesis. National Geographic, 5 Feb. 2017 See More

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

Word History


poly- + genesis

First Known Use

circa 1872, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polygenesis was circa 1872

Dictionary Entries Near polygenesis

Cite this Entry

“Polygenesis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polygenesis. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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