Definition of epistasis in English:



mass nounGenetics
  • The interaction of genes that are not alleles, in particular the suppression of the effect of one such gene by another.

    • ‘Genetic epistasis of gene expression can also be considered with large sample sizes.’
    • ‘This advantage of sex should be especially substantial when mutations interact through negative epistasis.’
    • ‘For geneticists, epistasis is associated with the limits of the additive model of gene action.’
    • ‘These results suggest that future genetic models for the evolution of aging should incorporate the effects of epistasis.’
    • ‘Neither earlier study was able to demonstrate a significant effect of epistasis, either positive or negative.’


Early 19th century: from Greek, literally ‘stoppage’, from ephistanai ‘to stop’.