Definition of meiosis in English:



  • 1Biology
    A type of cell division that results in four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes of the parent cell, as in the production of gametes and plant spores:

    ‘the sporophytes of green algae form spores only by meiosis’
    Compare with mitosis
    [count noun] ‘no recombinants were observed in over 100 meioses’
    • ‘In most meioses, every chromosome pair, no matter how small, sustains at least one crossover - a so-called obligate crossover or obligate chiasma.’
    • ‘Models for genetic recombination have been proposed to explain the properties of genetic exchange during fungal meiosis.’
    • ‘They were able to work with 12 meioses (a three-generational family with four grandparents, two parents, and four children) and seven marker loci.’
    • ‘My personal hope is that students will have some intuitive understanding of meiosis as the physical basis of genetics.’
    • ‘This is evidence that the genes are evolving in a concerted manner, as might be predicted for genes that mispair very frequently in meiosis.’
  • 2

    another term for litotes
    • ‘Meiosis, often achieved through a trope of one word, may range from bitter scorn to light derision.’


Mid 16th century (in meiosis): modern Latin, from Greek meiōsis, from meioun lessen, from meiōn less. meiosis dates from the early 20th century.