Share this entry

Share this page

polyphyletic

Line breaks: poly|phyl¦et¦ic
Pronunciation: /ˌpɒlɪfʌɪˈlɛtɪk
 
/

Definition of polyphyletic in English:

adjective

Biology
(Of a group of organisms) derived from more than one common evolutionary ancestor or ancestral group and therefore not suitable for placing in the same taxon: the aschelminthes may be a polyphyletic grade
More example sentences
  • The present study, as well as previous molecular studies, suggest that the oegopsid squids represent a polyphyletic group with uncertain phylogenetic affinities.
  • Loriciferans were originally assigned to the paraphyletic or polyphyletic group called Aschelminthes.
  • The taxonomy of the group is not well resolved, with many family-group taxa considered paraphyletic or polyphyletic, and several subfamilies are unplaced at the family level.

Definition of polyphyletic in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure