AskDefine | Define ontogenesis

Dictionary Definition

ontogenesis n : (biology) the process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level; "he proposed an indicator of osseous development in children" [syn: growth, growing, maturation, development, ontogeny] [ant: nondevelopment]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Greek onto- (being) + genesis (arising)


  1. the arising or development of an individual organismus



See also

Extensive Definition

Ontogeny (also ontogenesis or morphogenesis)(ontos present participle of 'to be', genesis 'creation') describes the origin and the development of an organism from the fertilized egg to its mature form. Ontogeny is studied in developmental biology, developmental psychology, and developmental psychobiology.
In more general terms, ontogeny is defined as the history of structural change in a unity, which can be a cell, an organism, or a society of organisms, without the loss of the organization that allows that unity to exist (Maturana and Varela, 1987, p. 74).

See also


  • Maturana, H. R., Varela F. J. (1987). The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

External links

ontogenesis in Bulgarian: Онтогенеза
ontogenesis in Czech: Ontogenetický vývoj
ontogenesis in German: Ontogenese
ontogenesis in Estonian: Ontogenees
ontogenesis in Spanish: Ontogenia
ontogenesis in Esperanto: Individugenezo
ontogenesis in French: Ontogenèse
ontogenesis in Indonesian: Ontogeni
ontogenesis in Latvian: Ontoģenēze
ontogenesis in Macedonian: Онтогенеза
ontogenesis in Dutch: Ontwikkelingsfysiologie
ontogenesis in Norwegian: Ontogenese
ontogenesis in Polish: Ontogeneza
ontogenesis in Portuguese: Ontogenia
ontogenesis in Russian: Онтогенез
ontogenesis in Slovak: Ontogenéza
ontogenesis in Slovenian: Ontogenija
ontogenesis in Serbian: Онтогенетско развиће
ontogenesis in Turkish: Ontojeni
ontogenesis in Ukrainian: Онтогенез
ontogenesis in Chinese: 個體發生學
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