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[myoo-teyt] /ˈmyu teɪt/
verb (used with object), mutated, mutating.
to change; alter.
Phonetics. to change by umlaut.
verb (used without object), mutated, mutating.
to change; undergo mutation.
Origin of mutate
1810-20; < Latin mūtātus, past participle of mūtare to change; see -ate1
Related forms
[myoo-tuh-tiv] /ˈmyu tə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
nonmutative, adjective
unmutated, adjective
unmutative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mutate
  • In this way, they didn't really mutate and evolve into an entirely new species.
  • Because the loops are all different lengths, the loops overlap and mutate and swell, never repeating in the same way.
  • Many bird species were housed together in the markets, an ideal environment for genes from different viruses to mix and mutate.
  • But safe bacteria have been known to mutate with unforeseen results.
  • They can also mutate the genes that regulate their multiplication, to step up the rate.
  • Experts fear the disease will mutate into a form that can leap between humans and sweep populations with no immunity.
  • Borders everywhere attract violence, violence prompts fences, and eventually fences can mutate into walls.
  • Targeting endothelial cells has some advantages: these cells are genetically stable, meaning that they do not mutate.
  • In addition, cyber crime seemed to mutate into new enigmatic forms, forcing bewildered police to learn new tricks.
  • Moreover, if even a fairly benign form of the virus becomes endemic, new strains could always mutate again to virulence.
British Dictionary definitions for mutate


to undergo or cause to undergo mutation
Derived Forms
mutative (ˈmjuːtətɪv; mjuːˈteɪtɪv) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Latin mūtātus changed, from mūtāre to change
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 mutate

"to change state or condition," 1818, back-formation from mutation. In genetic sense, 1913, from Latin mutatus, past participle of mutare "to change" (see mutable). Related: Mutated; mutating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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