Definition of heterogeneous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌhɛt(ə)rə(ʊ)ˈdʒiːnɪəs/


1Diverse in character or content: a large and heterogeneous collection
More example sentences
  • Almost two decades later, it is still hard to quantify such settlements, as the city's topography accentuates their heterogeneous character and formal diversity.
  • Apparently, Canada succeeded where the U.S. had failed in assembling multiculturally diverse, heterogeneous groups of people.
  • Distributed widely as they are in the political spectrum, these heterogeneous groups represent very diverse outlooks and interests as a whole.
diverse, diversified, varied, varying, miscellaneous, assorted, mixed, sundry, contrasting, disparate, different, differing, divergent, unrelated, variegated, wide-ranging;
literary divers, myriad, legion
rare contrastive
1.1 Chemistry Of or denoting a process involving substances in different phases (solid, liquid, or gaseous): heterogeneous catalysis
More example sentences
  • For this reason the process chosen is usually heterogeneous catalysis, because this keeps the cost and the number of process steps to a minimum.
  • Chemisorption plays an essential role in corrosion, heterogeneous catalysis, and electrochemistry.
  • My research interests are organic chemistry mechanisms, organometallic chemistry, and heterogeneous catalysis.
1.2 Mathematics Incommensurable through being of different kinds, degrees, or dimensions.
Example sentences
  • The heterogeneous variant should be counted twice, because statistically it is twice as likely as either of the homogeneous combinations.
  • If the rate ratio was heterogeneous, then the maximum-likelihood estimates of parameters under the free-ratio model were used to calculate d N and d S along each branch.
  • In this article, we implement a number of models (statistical distributions) for heterogeneous ratios among sites.


The correct spelling is heterogeneous, but a fairly common misspelling is heterogenous. The reason for the error probably relates to the pronunciation, which, in rapid speech, often misses out the extra e. Heterogenous is actually a different word, which is used in specialized medical and biological senses and means ‘originating outside the organism’.



Example sentences
  • Student participants were selected at random from 130 heterogeneously grouped students after signed consent was obtained.
  • There were bilingual and native English speakers, those who came from English-speaking homes, heterogeneously mixed in the participating classrooms.
  • Functionally equivalent genes may evolve heterogeneously across closely related taxa as a consequence of lineage-specific selective pressures.


Example sentences
  • Another was their ability to forge illusory stylistic coherence despite their records' actual heterogeneousness.
  • Here's an argument, inspired by Tocqueville, that we can assess the health of a democracy by examining the heterogeneousness of its culture.
  • Present day processes of creating new economic environments seem to point more towards a large heterogeneousness of these social forms, hence of markets.


Early 17th century: from medieval Latin heterogeneus, from Greek heterogenēs, from heteros 'other' + genos 'a kind'.

Words that rhyme with heterogeneous

genius, homogeneous, ingenious

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: het¦ero|ge¦neous

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