• (RP) enPR pär'thĭnōjĕʹnĭsĭs, IPA: /ˌpɑːθɪnəʊˈd͡ʒɛnɪsɪs/, /ˌpɑːθənəʊˈd͡ʒɛnɪsɪs/
  • (GA) enPR: pär'thənōjĕʹnĭsĭs, IPA: /ˌpɑɹθɪnoʊˈd͡ʒɛnɪsɪs/, /ˌpɑɹθənoʊˈd͡ʒɛnɪsɪs/

parthenogenesis (uncountable)

  1. (biology) Referring to various aspects of asexual reproduction:
    1. (biology, countable, uncountable) (An instance of) reproduction by the development of a single gamete (an ovum or ovule) without fertilisation by a gamete of the opposite sex; compare metagenesis, heterogamy.
      • 2008 October 15, "Virgin Shark Gives Birth", AFP via Australian Broadcasting Corporation ↗:
        Scientists say the birth is the second confirmed instance of a shark being conceived by parthenogenesis, a process in which an unfertilised egg develops into a new individual.
    2. (biology, uncountable, formerly) Asexual reproduction in toto; agamogenesis.
  2. (countable and uncountable) figurative uses of the biological senses
    • 1870: James Russell Lowell, Among My Books, series I, Shakespeare Once More, [,+and+forever+another,+by+a+fatal+parthenogenesis%22&ei=Px21SvGwL5W-zATylbjsDg#v=onepage&q=%22one%20sin%20involves%20another%2C%20and%20forever%20another%2C%20by%20a%20fatal%20parthenogenesis%22&f=false page 223]
      We may learn, to be sure, plenty of lessons from Shakespeare. We are not likely to have kingdoms to divide, crowns foretold us by weird sisters, a father’s death to avenge, or to kill our wives from jealously ; but Lear may teach us to draw the line more clearly between a wise generosity and a loose-handed weakness of giving ; Macbeth, how one sin involves another, and forever another, by a fatal parthenogenesis, and that the key which unlocks forbidden doors to our will or passion leaves a stain on the hand, that may not be so dark as blood, but that will not out ; Hamlet, that all the noblest gifts of person, temperament, and mind slip like sand through the grasp of an infirm purpose ; Othello, that the perpetual silt of some one weakness, the eddies of a suspicious temper depositing their one impalpable layer after another, may build up a shoal on which an heroic life and an otherwise magnanimous nature may bilge and go to pieces.
  3. (theology) Virgin birth, in reference to the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.
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