- The process of becoming mature. (noun)
- Biology The processes by which gametes are formed, including the reduction of chromosomes in a germ cell from the diploid number to the haploid number by meiosis. (noun)
- Biology The final differentiation processes in biological systems, such as the final ripening of a seed or the attainment of full functional capacity by a cell, a tissue, or an organ. (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.