recessive

adjective
re·​ces·​sive | \ri-ˈse-siv \

Definition of recessive 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : tending to recede

b : withdrawn sense 2

2a : producing little or no phenotypic effect when occurring in heterozygous condition with a contrasting allele recessive genes

b : expressed only when the determining gene is in the homozygous condition recessive traits a recessive disease

recessive

noun

Definition of recessive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an organism possessing one or more recessive characters

2 : a recessive character or gene

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Other Words from recessive

Adjective

recessively adverb
recessiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for recessive

Synonyms: Adjective

backward, bashful, coy, demure, diffident, introverted, modest, retiring, self-effacing, sheepish, shy, withdrawn

Antonyms: Adjective

extroverted (also extraverted), immodest, outgoing

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Examples of recessive in a Sentence

Adjective

a recessive genius who was most comfortable working alone in his chemistry lab

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Robert’s groundbreaking research recently revealed that as much as a fifth of us are recessive carriers of some exotic genetic horror or other. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: The toxic truths within our DNA," 18 July 2018 High school biology trains us to think of recessive/dominant and afflicted/unafflicted in very binary terms. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: The toxic truths within our DNA," 18 July 2018 Or would my blonde hair and blue eyes have snuck through some unknown recessive traits of his? Jackie Bryant, Harper's BAZAAR, "Saying Goodbye to Your Future, Along with Your Marriage," 4 Sep. 2018 Fine porcelain is also hand-painted with crosshatches, blurred so that the pattern here is recessive rather than assertive. Joan Juliet Buck, ELLE Decor, "The Greatness of Milan Through the Lens of Bottega Veneta," 29 Aug. 2018 Due to the smaller gene pool, such inbreeding typically leads to higher rates of recessive disorders, translating into higher death rates and poorer overall health. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "Northern white rhino could be saved from extinction using embryos," 5 July 2018 Because the disease is recessive, parents can be carriers of this gene without exhibiting the disease themselves. Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "What Is Harlequin Ichthyosis? Mom Bathes Her Baby in Bleach Because of This Rare Genetic Disorder," 21 June 2018 Annie has two teenage children with her supportive if somewhat recessive husband, Steve (Gabriel Byrne). Justin Chang, latimes.com, "'Hereditary' is a new horror classic, and a triumph for Toni Collette," 7 June 2018 This lysosomal storage disorder is an autosomal recessive genetic disease that interferes with the body’s production of a single enzyme, arylsulfatase A. Not enough arylsulfatase A causes a buildup of fats called sulfatides inside cells. Vibhav Rangarajan, STAT, "The ‘cruel joke’ of compassionate use and right to try: Pharma companies don’t have to comply," 5 June 2018

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

Adjective

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for recessive

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recessive

The first known use of recessive was in 1654

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More Definitions for recessive

recessive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of recessive

biology : causing or relating to a characteristic or condition that a child will have only if both of the child's parents have it

recessive

adjective
re·​ces·​sive | \ri-ˈse-siv \

Kids Definition of recessive

: being or produced by a form of a gene whose effect can be hidden by a dominant gene and which can produce a noticeable effect only when two copies of the gene are present Blue eye color is a recessive trait.

recessive

adjective
re·​ces·​sive | \ri-ˈses-iv \

Medical Definition of recessive 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : producing little or no phenotypic effect when occurring in heterozygous condition with a contrasting allele recessive genes

2 : expressed only when the determining gene is in the homozygous condition recessive traits

Other Words from recessive

recessively adverb
recessiveness noun

recessive

noun

Medical Definition of recessive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a recessive character or gene

2 : an organism possessing one or more recessive characters

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Comments on recessive

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