Medical Dictionary

Hardy–Weinberg law

noun Har·dy–Wein·berg law \ˌhärd-ē-ˈwīn-ˌbərg-\

Medical Definition of Hardy–Weinberg law

  1. :  a fundamental principle of population genetics that is approximately true for small populations and holds with increasing exactness for larger and larger populations: population gene frequencies and population genotype frequencies remain constant from generation to generation if mating is random and if mutation, selection, immigration, and emigration do not occur—called also Hardy-Weinberg principle

Biographical Note for hardy–weinberg law



Godfrey Harold

(1877–1947), British mathematician. In his time Hardy was probably the leading pure mathematician in Great Britain. In 1908 he published a paper formulating the law of population genetics that the frequencies of both the different kinds of genes and of the different kinds of genotypes which they produce tend to remain constant over generations in large populations under general conditions.


\ˈvīn-berk\play ,


(1862–1937), German physician and geneticist. Weinberg made important contributions in medicine and human genetics to the study of multiple births, population genetics, and medical statistics. He ranks as one of the founders of population genetics. Independently of Hardy and at about the same time, he discovered the law of population genetics that is now called the Hardy-Weinberg law after both of them. In his studies of population genetics, Weinberg took into account both genetic and environmental factors. He was the first geneticist to partition the total variance of phenotypes into genetic and environmental portions.

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capable of being understood in two ways

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