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

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
But is anyone else discussing the prevalence of recessive traits in a prestige TV series? Holly J. Morris, NPR, 14 June 2024 But McCarthy's meeting with Sheedy, who played the recessive Allison in The Breakfast Club, is the best of all. Stephanie Zacharek, TIME, 13 June 2024
Noun
The big, accessible Now dominates a recessive, endangered Then. Holland Cotter, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 Apart from her, the non-popular kids seemed mostly bland and recessive. Mary Gaitskill, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for recessive 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recessive.' 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

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 17 Jul. 2024.

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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