from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The origin and development of an individual organism from embryo to adult. Also called ontogenesis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The development of an individual organism.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as ontogenesis.
  • n. Specifically or specially, the ontogenesis of an individual living organism; the entire development and metamorphosis or life-history of a given organism, as distinguished from phylogeny.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (biology) the process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level


From onto- + -geny, after German Ontogenie. (Wiktionary)



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  • 'For Freud, self-alienation is a consequence of human ontogeny’. The Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson 2010.

    April 20, 2013

  • 'This starlit world is still the world, presumably, and every part of it, including humankind, is unchanged in its nature still embodying the history that is also its ontogeny. The Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson 2010.

    April 17, 2013