Definition of mutate in English:


Syllabification: mu·tate
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.


early 19th century: back-formation from mutation.



Pronunciation: /-ˌtātər/
More 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.

Definition of mutate in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈretrəˌfleks
turned backward