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Definition of "recessive" [re•ces•sive]

  • Tending to go backward or recede. (adjective)
  • Genetics Of, relating to, or designating an allele that does not produce a characteristic effect when present with a dominant allele. (adjective)
  • Of or relating to a trait that is expressed only when the determining allele is present in the homozygous condition. (adjective)
  • Genetics A recessive allele or trait. (noun)
  • Genetics An organism having a recessive trait. (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 "recessive" in a sentence
  • "The term recessive only applies to the peculiar state into which the latent character has come in the hybrid by its pairing with the antagonistic active unit."
  • "(nonadditive) gene actions as well as the closely associated term recessive gene action."
  • "Each involves what Ms. Siegel aptly calls "recessive music"—the aural mix accompanying the choreography remains in the background, bearing next to no connection to the dance's action."