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[het-er-uh-jee-nee-uh s, -jeen-yuh s] /ˌhɛt ər əˈdʒi ni əs, -ˈdʒin yəs/
different in kind; unlike; incongruous.
composed of parts of different kinds; having widely dissimilar elements or constituents:
The party was attended by a heterogeneous group of artists, politicians, and social climbers.
Chemistry. (of a mixture) composed of different substances or the same substance in different phases, as solid ice and liquid water.
Origin of heterogeneous
1615-25; < Medieval Latin heterogeneus < Greek heterogenḗs. See hetero-, gene, -ous
Related forms
heterogeneously, adverb
heterogeneousness, noun
Can be confused
heterogeneous, heterogenous, homogeneous, homogenous.
2. varied, diverse.
2. homogeneous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heterogeneously
Historical Examples
  • A shelf ran round the walls, on which were models in plaster, heterogeneously placed, most of them covered with gray dust.

    Vendetta Honore de Balzac
  • Something of the salt sea yet lingered in old Bildad's language, heterogeneously mixed with Scriptural and domestic phrases.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville
  • In such a case I shall say that we are thinking ‘heterogeneously’ about nature.

    The Concept of Nature Alfred North Whitehead
  • They are old ideas revived, either in an entire state, or heterogeneously mingled together.

  • In these nationally supported and heterogeneously peopled towns a new kind of community might wax and thrive.

    Domesday Book and Beyond Frederic William Maitland
  • A ragged, coatless, heterogeneously weaponed army, it heaved tumultuously along toward Third Avenue.

British Dictionary definitions for heterogeneously


composed of unrelated or differing parts or elements
not of the same kind or type
(chem) of, composed of, or concerned with two or more different phases Compare homogeneous
Derived Forms
heterogeneity (ˌhɛtərəʊdʒɪˈniːɪtɪ), heterogeneousness, noun
heterogeneously, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin heterogeneus, from Greek heterogenēs, from hetero- + genos sort
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 heterogeneously



1620s, from Medieval Latin heterogeneus, from Greek heterogenes, from heteros "different" (see hetero-) + genos "kind, gender, race stock" (see genus). Earlier in same sense was heterogeneal (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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heterogeneously in Medicine

heterogeneous het·er·o·ge·ne·ous (hět'ər-ə-jē'nē-əs, -jēn'yəs)
Composed of parts having dissimilar characteristics or properties.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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