Definition of heterosis in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌhedəˈrōsəs/


The tendency of a crossbred individual to show qualities superior to those of both parents. Also called hybrid vigor.
Example sentences
  • With overdominance, unlike alleles are postulated to result in a stimulating effect, so that genetic heterozygosity per se produces heterosis.
  • Genetic background, heterosis, and sex differences can all have profound effects on chiasma and recombination frequencies.
  • The fundamental genetic and physiological causes of heterosis remain poorly understood in plants after nearly a century of exploitation in crop improvement.


Early 20th century: from Greek heterōsis 'alteration', from heteros 'other'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: het·er·o·sis

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