Definition of recessive in English:


Syllabification: re·ces·sive
Pronunciation: /riˈsesiv


  • 1 Genetics Relating to or denoting heritable characteristics controlled by genes that are expressed in offspring only when inherited from both parents, i.e., when not masked by a dominant characteristic inherited from one parent. Often contrasted with dominant.
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    • Self-pollination in these strains was found to be controlled by duplicate, recessive genes.
    • It would operate like inbreeding, which increases the odds of offspring inheriting the same deleterious recessive allele from both parents.
    • On occasion, families are observed where both parents have a recessive single gene disorder and yet have normal offspring.
  • 2Undergoing an economic recession: the recessive housing market
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    • The real growth was 1.6% in a recessive global economic climate.
    • In a transition period, however, this may lead to a recessive pressure on the economy.
    • In order to stimulate a recessive economy and pay for the cost of escalating welfare programs, Congress will add to the national debt.
  • 3 Phonetics (Of the stress on a word or phrase) tending to fall on the first syllable.
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    • In modern English all the disyllabic and trisyllabic words have only recessive stress, e.g. colour, marriage.


Genetics Back to top  
  • A recessive trait or gene.
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    • Instead selection causes the same increase in allele frequency in both dominants and recessives, at least early on when the fates of nearly all alleles are determined.
    • Thus deleterious recessives had not been eliminated from the population to the extent that consanguineous matings were harmless in terms of offspring viability.
    • But regardless of why most incompatibilities act as recessives, the present results leave little doubt that they do.



More example sentences
  • Female carriers of X-linked recessively inherited disorders can often be identified by some outward expression of the disorder.
  • A line of briard dogs has been identified that is affected by an autosomal recessively inherited retinal disease resulting in severe, early onset visual impairment.
  • The most common one in the United Kingdom is Friedreich's ataxia, which is inherited recessively, often coming into a family out of the blue when two carrier parents have a child who develops ataxia symptoms.


More example sentences
  • Mendel's peas were used to demonstrate this recessiveness - in two generations I have to admit.
  • To test for recessiveness or dominance of the mutations, each mutant was crossed with a strain of the opposite mating type, either Y090 or Y091.
  • I don't think that anything is known yet about the number, position, dominance, co-dominance or recessiveness of genes for behavior.


Pronunciation: /ˌrēˌsesˈivətē/
More example sentences
  • Moreover, Y-linked mutations do not encounter the problem of recessivity or sexual antagonism, and thus any advantageous mutation has a much better chance of becoming fixed in the population than the autosomal or X-linked ones have.
  • Their work showed that ‘…the recessivity of mutants is an inevitable consequence of kinetic properties of enzyme-catalyzed pathways and that no other explanation is required’.
  • They suggest that ‘In fact, if mutant recessivity were not general, it would throw considerable doubt on the whole of enzymology and the study of intermediary metabolism.’


late 17th century: from recess, on the pattern of excessive.

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