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1. Biology The theory that an individual is developed by successive differentiation of an unstructured egg rather than by a simple enlarging of a preformed entity.
2. Geology Change in the mineral content of a rock because of outside influences.


1. (Biology) the widely accepted theory that an individual animal or plant develops by the gradual differentiation and elaboration of a fertilized egg cell. Compare preformation2
2. (Geological Science) the formation or alteration of rocks after the surrounding rock has been formed
3. (Geological Science) alteration of the mineral composition of a rock by external agents: a type of metamorphism
ˌepiˈgenesist, epigenist n


(ˌɛp ɪˈdʒɛn ə sɪs)

a. the stepwise process by which genetic information, as modified by environmental influences, is translated into the substance and behavior of an organism.
b. the theory that an embryo develops from the successive differentiation of an originally undifferentiated structure (opposed to preformation).
2. ore deposition subsequent to the original formation of the enclosing country rock.
ep`i•gen′e•sist, e•pig•e•nist (ɪˈpɪdʒ ə nɪst) n.
ep`i•ge•net′ic (-dʒəˈnɛt ɪk) adj.
ep`i•ge•net′i•cal•ly, adv.


1. the appearance of a secondary symptom in a disease or illness.
2. the secondary symptom itself. See also biology; geology. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Disease and Illness
the biological theory that germ cells are structureless and the embryo develops through the action of environment on the protoplasm. Cf. preformation. See also birth; disease and illness; geology. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Biology
the formation of a cell as a new product and not as the result of development from some existing cell. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Cells
the process of metamorphism. See also biology; disease and illness. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Geology
the theory that embryonic development is totally controlled by the cell’s environment. Cf. syngenesis.epigenesist, n. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Birth
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.epigenesis - a geological change in the mineral content of rock after the rock has formed
metamorphism - change in the structure of rock by natural agencies such as pressure or heat or introduction of new chemical substances
References in periodicals archive ?
Extracted from the African bambara pea (Voandzeia subterranea), this new active rejuvenates the skin: Epigenist improves the skin's structure and visibly increases its thickness.
Epigenist is suitable for daily anti-aging treatments, anti-dull skin products and for the treatment of fine wrinkles.
With Epigenist BASF s new active ingredient the epidermis is re-innervated and regains the quality of its youth.