Definition of polyphyletic in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌpɒlɪfʌɪˈlɛtɪk/


(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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: poly|phyl¦et¦ic

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.