recessive

1 of 2

adjective

re·​ces·​sive ri-ˈse-siv How to pronounce recessive (audio)
1
a
: tending to recede
2
a
: 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
recessively adverb
recessiveness noun

recessive

2 of 2

noun

1
: an organism possessing one or more recessive characters
2
: a recessive character or gene

Example Sentences

Adjective a recessive genius who was most comfortable working alone in his chemistry lab
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
These declines continued into 2023 amid rising federal interest rates and a generally recessive financial market. Dan Carson, Chron, 11 Jan. 2023 This explains the simple power of Punnett squares and the inheritance patterns of recessive traits. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 Sep. 2013 Lavin can make a joke out of a single inhalation, which turns out to be a good match for his more recessive sarcasm. Vulture, 6 Nov. 2022 If two parents are heterozygote carriers of a gene for a recessive trait there is an expectation that 1/4 of their offspring will exhibit the trait in question. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 Sep. 2013 It’s Bale, recessive behind a thick groomed beard, who remains at the center. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 22 Dec. 2022 The test, which is typically a blood or saliva test, checks for recessive genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis, tay-sachs, and thalassemias. Alexis Benveniste, ELLE, 23 Nov. 2022 The melanistic trait is genetic and owes itself to recessive alleles in leopards and dominant alleles in jaguars, says Byron Weckworth, director of conservation genetics at Panthera, a conservation organization for wild cats. Jacquelyne Germain, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Nov. 2022 Both parents carry a recessive gene for Pompe disease, which means there’s a 1 in 4 chance that a baby will inherit the condition. Time, 10 Nov. 2022
Noun
The ability to generate double-recessives would have been a valuable lab tool in itself. Jennifer Kahn, New York Times, 8 Jan. 2020 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of recessive was in 1654

Dictionary Entries Near recessive

Cite this Entry

“Recessive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recessive. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

recessive

1 of 2 adjective
re·​ces·​sive ri-ˈses-iv How to pronounce recessive (audio)
1
: tending to go back
2
: producing a bodily characteristic (as eye color) when homozygous and not masked by a copy of the gene that is dominant
recessive genes
also : exhibited by the body only when the determining gene is homozygous
blue eye color is a recessive trait
recessively adverb
recessiveness noun

recessive

2 of 2 noun
1
: a recessive characteristic or gene
2
: an individual that has one or more recessive characteristics

Medical Definition

recessive

1 of 2 adjective
re·​ces·​sive ri-ˈses-iv How to pronounce recessive (audio)
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
recessively adverb
recessiveness noun

recessive

2 of 2 noun
1
: a recessive character or gene
2
: an organism possessing one or more recessive characters

More from Merriam-Webster on recessive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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