Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

homologous

\huh-MOL-uh-guhs; hoh-\ , adjective;
1.
corresponding in position, proportion, structure, value, or other property
2.
in biology, corresponding in type of structure and in origin but not necessarily in appearance or function
3.
in chemistry, belonging to a series where successive members differ regularly in formula, especially a series of organic compounds differing by multiples of CH2, such as the alcohols and aldehydes
Quotes:
A human hand, a bird's wing and a whale's flipper are all homologous structures, she explains, in that each represents an evolutionary modification of the same ancestral limb structure.
-- John Noble Wilford, But Will It Fly?" review of Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight, by Pat Shipman, New York Times, 1/25/1998
Ingeniously, out of a wide scholarship, Author Heard traces the homologous development of caps and cathedrals, mitres and mosques-15,000 years in a book of 150 pages that scholars will find an interesting tour-de-force, men of letters a most scholarly little tract.
-- Clothes," review of Narcissus: An Anatomy of Clothes, by Gerald Heard-Dutton, Time, 1/12/1925
Origin:
by 1660, from Greek homologos "agreeing, of one mind," from homos "same" + logos "relation, reasoning, computation," related to legein "reckon, select, speak"
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