Definition of homologous in English:



  • 1Having the same relation, relative position, or structure.

    • ‘The effort, in part, is to determine whether academic institutions are homologous with organizations in other fields.’
    • ‘The Portuguese Society of Plant Physiology, in collaboration with the Spanish homologous society, is organizing the 9th Luso-Spanish Plant Physiology Congress and the 16th Meeting of the Spanish Society of Plant Physiology.’
    • ‘In certain primal traditions, the maze or labyrinth played a homologous role to that of the sacred wilderness area - in fact, the two may have been indistinguishable.’
    1. 1.1Biology (of organs) similar in position, structure, and evolutionary origin but not necessarily in function.
      ‘a seal's flipper is homologous with the human arm’
      Often contrasted with analogous
      • ‘The swim bladder is homologous to the lungs of tetrapods.’
      • ‘Structures normally found at the nonmutant leaf edge are absent from the affected region of the mutant leaf and leaf homologous organs.’
      • ‘Could it be that the parathyroid is also derived from a branchial arch, and is therefore homologous with the gills of fish?’
      • ‘It's a homologous structure found in both fish and tetrapods.’
      • ‘Adaptationist arguments are essential because they suggest the function of homologous and analogous physiological structures.’
      similar, comparable, equivalent, like, analogous, corresponding, correspondent, parallel, matching, kindred, related, correlative, congruent, cognate
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Biology (of chromosomes) pairing at meiosis and having the same structural features and pattern of genes.
      • ‘Pairing of homologous chromosomes is confirmed in the mutant strain.’
      • ‘Crossing over ensures segregation of homologous chromosomes in meiosis I.’
      • ‘This interaction is thought to be necessary for the proper pairing and segregation of homologous chromosomes during the first meiotic division.’
      • ‘Pairing is an essential step in organizing and properly distributing homologous chromosomes during meiosis.’
      • ‘During prophase I of meiosis, homologous chromosomes align, synapse, and cross over.’
    3. 1.3Chemistry (of a series of chemical compounds) having the same functional group but differing in composition by a fixed group of atoms.
      • ‘Moreover, the level of amino acid sequence divergence between homologous proteins is relatively low, allowing us to gauge the patterns of amino acid substitution.’
      • ‘Such homologous series can provide the basis for a rational classification of sulfosalts.’
      • ‘One approach to analyzing the contributions of the factors controlling binding is to compare binding of a series of homologous compounds.’
      • ‘Chemically they are classed as alcohols, which are representative of a homologous series.’
      • ‘Because of these regularities, the members of each group are known as a homologous series.’


Mid 17th century: via medieval Latin from Greek homologos agreeing, consistent, from homos same + logos ratio, proportion.