Definition of anisogamy in English:



mass nounBiology
  • Sexual reproduction by the fusion of dissimilar gametes.

    Compare with isogamy
    • ‘Since anisogamy (gametes of different sizes: eggs and sperm) is what defines the sexes it is thus a prerequisite for sexual dimorphism.’
    • ‘The principle behind anisogamy is a division of the labour necessary for two gametes to unite and successfully develop.’
    • ‘Isogamy and anisogamy, and sometimes oogamy, may occur.’
    • ‘Meiosis produces 4 gametes, ie. isogamy, anisogamy and oogamy, which through mitosis develops into mature gametes.’
    • ‘In many species with gametes of different sizes (anisogamy), sexual crosses typically produce progeny with mitochondrial DNA inherited from the larger gamete.’
    • ‘A popular theory has proposed that anisogamy originated through disruptive selection acting on an ancestral isogamous population.’
    • ‘Orders that are characterized by oogamy (or pronounced anisogamy) and are reported to have large female gametes have the largest nuclear genomes observed regardless of their phylogenetic position.’


Late 19th century: from Greek anisos ‘unequal’ + -gamy (from gamos ‘marriage’).