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[juh-net-iks] /dʒəˈnɛt ɪks/
noun, (used with a singular verb)
Biology. the science of heredity, dealing with resemblances and differences of related organisms resulting from the interaction of their genes and the environment.
the genetic properties and phenomena of an organism.
Origin of genetics
see genetic, -ics; term first proposed in this sense by British biologist William Bateson (1861-1926) in 1905 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for genetics
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Historical Examples
  • Eugenics is the science of reproducing better humans by applying the established laws of genetics or heredity.

    Sex-education Maurice Alpheus Bigelow
  • If, then, progress was to be made in genetics, work of a different kind was required.

  • They also opened new horizons for hypotheses in astronomy, genetics, anthropology.

  • It sprang from genetics and bears the mark of an implicit Darwinian mechanism.

  • But a better definition, based on the results of genetics, looks at it as a mechanism, not as an external appearance.

    Applied Eugenics Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for genetics


(functioning as sing) the branch of biology concerned with the study of heredity and variation in organisms
the genetic features and constitution of a single organism, species, or group
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for genetics

1872, "laws of origination;" see genetic + -ics. A coinage of English biologist William Bateson (1861-1926). Meaning "study of heredity" is from 1891.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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genetics in Medicine

genetics ge·net·ics (jə-nět'ĭks)
The branch of biology that deals with heredity, especially the mechanisms of hereditary transmission and the variation of inherited traits among similar or related organisms.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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genetics in Science
The scientific study of the principles of heredity and the variation of inherited traits among related organisms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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genetics in Culture

genetics definition

The study of heredity, or how the characteristics of living things are transmitted from one generation to the next. Every living thing contains the genetic material that makes up DNA molecules. This material is passed on when organisms reproduce. The basic unit of heredity is the gene. (See chromosomes; dominant trait; genetic code; Gregor Mendel; recessive trait; and sexual reproduction.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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