Definition of polygenesis in English:



  • 1Biology
    The hypothetical origination of a race or species from a number of independent stocks.

    Compare with polygeny
    • ‘The Southern opponents of polygenesis even employed many of the same arguments and sources used by abolitionists to attack white prejudice.’
    • ‘For example, it seems to be the ground of his preference for monogenesis - the theory that the races are descended from a common stock - over polygenesis - the theory that the races have different origins.’
  • 2The hypothetical origination of language or of a surname from a number of independent sources in different places at different times.

    • ‘Proponents of polygenesis hold that the concept of genetic relatedness between languages is inaccurate.’
    • ‘Both of Edo Nyland's theses are in contradiction to current opinions of linguists, who tend to suppose polygenesis of language families and language changes caused by natural evolution.’