Definition of mutate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmyo͞otāt/


1Change or cause to change in form or nature: [no object]: technology continues to mutate at an alarming rate [with object]: the quick-dry solution really worked, even if it did mutate the skin on her fingers to reptilian scales
More example sentences
  • The pigeon let out one long coo, and then, as its body began to swell and transform, the sound mutated into a low chuckle.
  • But now the perennial moaning about diving has mutated into a full-blown campaign to stamp out this malevolent practice.
  • We had our reunion yesterday, attended by 11 of us which is a good turn out, and the day trip to France has now mutated into a weekend in Paris!
1.1 Biology (With reference to a cell, DNA molecule, etc.) undergo or cause to undergo change in a gene or genes: [no object]: the virus is able to mutate into new forms that are immune to the vaccine [with object]: certain nucleotides were mutated
More example sentences
  • This gene, when mutated, severely disrupts both germ cell migration and developmental cell death.
  • Only 15 of these genes were previously known to cause a toxin phenotype when mutated.
  • If a gene on the Y chromosome mutates, that piece of the male genetic code may disappear.



Pronunciation: /-ˌtātər/
Example sentences
  • Computer simulations predict that intermediate mutators can be selected and that, once selected, they have a much longer persistence time than strong mutators.
  • Thus, two of the polymerase mutants are modest spontaneous mutators for some point mutations in yeast strains that are proficient in DNA mismatch repair.
  • I argue that although some quantitative difference may be expected in a sexual population, the difference will be much smaller than that for mutators.


Early 19th century: back-formation from mutation.

Words that rhyme with mutate

abate, ablate, aerate, ait, await, backdate, bait, bate, berate, castrate, collate, conflate, crate, create, cremate, date, deflate, dictate, dilate, distraite, donate, downstate, eight, elate, equate, estate, fate, fête, fixate, freight, frustrate, gait, gate, gestate, gradate, grate, great, gyrate, hate, hydrate, inflate, innate, interrelate, interstate, irate, Kate, Kuwait, lactate, late, locate, lustrate, mandate, mate, migrate, misdate, misstate, mistranslate, narrate, negate, notate, orate, ornate, Pate, placate, plate, prate, prorate, prostrate, pulsate, pupate, quadrate, rate, rotate, sate, sedate, serrate, short weight, skate, slate, spate, spectate, spruit, stagnate, state, straight, strait, Tate, tête-à-tête, Thwaite, translate, translocate, transmigrate, truncate, underrate, understate, underweight, update, uprate, upstate, up-to-date, vacate, vibrate, wait, weight

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mu·tate

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.