Definition of mutation in English:

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Pronunciation: /mjuːˈteɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1The action or process of mutating: the mutation of punk’s angry energy into something more thuggish and mindless [count noun]: his first novel went through several mutations
More example sentences
  • As a matter of fact, the functions of books have undergone a process of mutation, and the underlying motivating force is now nothing but the soaring prices.
  • Variation accumulates over time through a random process of mutation.
  • It commits the artist to a descent into time, into the processes of mutation, decay and dissolution.
2The changing of the structure of a gene, resulting in a variant form which may be transmitted to subsequent generations, caused by the alteration of single base units in DNA, or the deletion, insertion, or rearrangement of larger sections of genes or chromosomes: mutation is, ultimately, the only way in which new variation enters the species
More example sentences
  • The same pattern appears in tumor-associated genes undergoing either loss-of-function mutation or rearrangements.
  • Mere mutation of the gene structure cannot fully explain the ‘spiritual’ evolution of species.
  • The gene mutation appears to work by restricting calorie absorption at the cellular level.
2.1 [count noun] A distinct form resulting from genetic mutation: whether his goats were a new mutation or part of an older breed remains unclear
More example sentences
  • Kidney tumors and estrogen-treated kidneys have mutations in microsatellites.
  • It is important to realize that mutations in different mutant individuals are not necessarily distinct.
  • The first is that this was a naturally occurring mutation in the Siamese.
mutant, variant, variation, freak, freak of nature, deviant, monstrosity, monster, deformity;
anomaly, departure;
Latin lusus naturae
rare miscreation
3 Linguistics Regular change of a sound when it occurs adjacent to another, in particular:
3.1(In Celtic languages) change of an initial consonant in a word caused (historically) by the preceding word. See also lenition.
3.2 (also vowel mutation) (In Germanic languages) the process by which the quality of a vowel was altered in certain phonetic contexts; umlaut.



Example sentences
  • Consider a chromosome that is divided into two regions, one of which contains multiple mutational hot spots.
  • This runaway process, described as the mutational meltdown, eventually leads to extinction.
  • Besides single step mutational events, some multiple steps mutational events were also observed.


Example sentences
  • The data were used to estimate the number of mutationally defined genes collectively deleted by the deficiencies.
  • A data set with numerous X and autosomal genes could give repeatability of Ks, but this may represent repeatability at the chromosomal level (and be mutationally driven) rather than be on account of selection on silent sites.
  • By testing several cutoff values for each tree, it is possible to determine what fraction of positions is mutationally saturated, and those positions are omitted from further phylogenetic analysis.


Late Middle English: from Latin mutatio(n-), from mutare 'to change'.

Words that rhyme with mutation

ablation, aeration, agnation, Alsatian, Amerasian, Asian, aviation, cetacean, citation, conation, creation, Croatian, counterdemonstration, counterproliferation, crustacean, curation, Dalmatian, delation, dilation, donation, duration, elation, fixation, Galatian, geolocation, glocalization, gyration, Haitian, halation, Horatian, ideation, illation, lavation, legation, libation, location, lunation, natation, nation, negation, notation, nutation, oblation, oration, ovation, potation, relation, rogation, rotation, Sarmatian, sedation, Serbo-Croatian, station, staycation, taxation, Thracian, vacation, vexation, vocation, zonation

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mu|ta¦tion

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