Definition of xenology in English:



  • (chiefly in science fiction) the scientific study of alien biology, cultures, etc.

    • ‘An illustration of xenology due to horizontal gene transfer.’
    • ‘The proposed approach to terrestrial xenology has the attractive advantage not to require complex and sometimes very artificial scenarios for the early history of the Earth.’
    • ‘1 Postmodernism is highlighted by an emphatically interdisciplinary nature: we can be certain that we won't be seeing departments of xenology being set up at universities.’
    • ‘According to published hypotheses, this distribution might result from vertical inheritance of ancestral genes via speciation, from one or more horizontal transfers (xenology), or from a mixture of both.’
    • ‘Molecular homologies can reflect the phylogeny of either species or genes and can reveal a complexity of pattern unknown in morphology, with orthology contributing to species phylogenies and paralogy and xenology contributing to gene phylogenies.’


1950s: from Greek xenos ‘stranger, foreigner’, (adjective) ‘strange’.