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Definition of "mutation" []

  • The act or process of being altered or changed. (noun)
  • An alteration or change, as in nature, form, or quality. (noun)
  • Genetics A change of the DNA sequence within a gene or chromosome of an organism resulting in the creation of a new character or trait not found in the parental type. (noun)
  • Genetics The process by which such a change occurs in a chromosome, either through an alteration in the nucleotide sequence of the DNA coding for a gene or through a change in the physical arrangement of a chromosome. (noun)
  • Genetics A mutant. (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.

Use "mutation" in a sentence
  • "No character whose development is dependent in greater or less degree on the stimulation of some substance derived from the gonads can have originated as a mutation, because the term mutation means a new character which develops in the soma as a result of the loss or gain of some factor or determinant in the chromosomes."
  • "Interestingly, the mutation is also associated with certain other negative physiological consequences."
  • "Hence, a psionic boy with telepathic powers due to his mutation is a science fiction character; but a prophet who reads the unspoken thoughts in the hearts of men due to a blessing from the elf-queen, is a fantasy character."