Definition of ontogenesis in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌän(t)ōˈjenəsəs/


The development of an individual organism or anatomical or behavioral feature from the earliest stage to maturity. Compare with phylogenesis.
Example sentences
  • Shepard proposes that humans go through eight stages of ontogenesis in their first twenty years of life.
  • The concepts of penetrance and expressivity and also of the systemic regulation of the formation of phenotypic traits - the foundation of phenogenetics and the genetics of ontogenesis.
  • Ductal plate malformation results from persistence or absence of remodeling of the embryonic ductal plate during ontogenesis.



Pronunciation: /-jəˈnetik/
Example sentences
  • The activational effects of sex-limited steroids buffer male and female phenotypes from ontogenetic conflict.
  • Extant birds are the most appropriate models for understanding the ontogenetic and phylogenetic development of PSP in sauropods.
  • Thus, there is no mechanism of ontogenetic developmental concrescence, just differentiation.


Pronunciation: /-jəˈnetik(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • In the other clade characterized by a static level of disparity, Clade 5 the structure changes ontogenetically, although more subtly than in Clade 4.
  • This is obvious but important, because if camerae can be derived from fossae ontogenetically then they can also be derived from fossae phylogenetically.
  • Thus, the resultant planktonic cephalopods are probably trapped, either evolutionarily or ontogenetically.


Late 19th century: from Greek ōn, ont- 'being' + genesis 'birth'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: on·to·gen·e·sis

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.