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[het-er-uh-zahy-guh s] /ˌhɛt ər əˈzaɪ gəs/
adjective, Biology
having dissimilar pairs of genes for any hereditary characteristic.
of or relating to a heterozygote.
Also, heterozygotic
[het-uh-roh-zahy-got-ik] /ˌhɛt ə roʊ zaɪˈgɒt ɪk/ (Show IPA)
Origin of heterozygous
1900-05; hetero- + Greek zygós, adj. derivative of zygón yolk; see -ous
Related forms
[het-uh-roh-zahy-gos-i-tee] /ˌhɛt ə roʊ zaɪˈgɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heterozygous
  • We propose that these conditions may result in reduced metabolic costs of growth among the heterozygous individuals.
  • Outbreeding depression can and does occur when genes from two heterozygous parents come together to interact in a bad way.
British Dictionary definitions for heterozygous


(genetics) (of an organism) having different alleles for any one gene: heterozygous for eye colour Compare homozygous
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 heterozygous

1889, from heterozygote, from hetero- + zygote.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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heterozygous in Medicine

heterozygous het·er·o·zy·gous (hět'ər-ə-zī'gəs)

  1. Having different alleles at one or more corresponding chromosomal loci.

  2. Of or relating to a heterozygote.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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heterozygous in Science
Relating to a cell that has two different alleles at corresponding positions on homologous chromosomes. Compare homozygous.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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