Share this entry

epistasis Syllabification: e·pis·ta·sis
Pronunciation: /əˈpistəsəs/

Definition of epistasis in English:


The interaction of genes that are not alleles, in particular the suppression of the effect of one such gene by another.
Example sentences
  • Genetic epistasis of gene expression can also be considered with large sample sizes.
  • For geneticists, epistasis is associated with the limits of the additive model of gene action.
  • These results suggest that future genetic models for the evolution of aging should incorporate the effects of epistasis.


Early 19th century: from Greek, literally 'stoppage', from ephistanai 'to stop'.



Pronunciation: /ˌepiˈstatik/
Example sentences
  • The results suggested that a minimum of two genes with epistatic effects were involved in the genetic control of cleistogamy.
  • Thus, neither allele is epistatic to the other in permitting the occurrence of expansions or contractions.
  • Such sites may be indicative of hotspots of recombination or mutation or epistatic selection.

Definition of epistasis in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: iˈnäkyo͞oəs
not harmful or offensive