Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to neoteny: pedomorphism, paedomorphism


1. The retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species, as among certain amphibians. Also called pedomorphism, pedomorphosis.
2. The attainment of sexual maturity and subsequent reproduction by an organism still in its larval stage. Also called pedogenesis2.

[New Latin neotenia : neo- + Greek teinein, ten-, to extend; see tenesmus.]

ne′o·ten′ic (nē′ə-tĕn′ĭk, -tē′nĭk), ne·ot′e·nous (-ŏt′n-əs) adj.


(nɪˈɒtənɪ) or


(Zoology) the persistence of larval or fetal features in the adult form of an animal. For example, the adult axolotl, a salamander, retains larval external gills. See also paedogenesis
[C19: from New Latin neotenia, from Greek neo- + teinein to stretch]
neotenic, neˈotenous adj


(niˈɒt n i)

1. the production of offspring by an organism in its larval or juvenile form; the elimination of the adult phase of the life cycle.
2. the retention in adulthood of a feature or features that appeared in an earlier phase in the life cycle of ancestral individuals.
[1900–05; < New Latin neotēnia < Greek neo- neo- + teín(ein) to stretch + -ia -y3]
ne•ot′e•nous, adj.


the capacity or state of becoming sexually mature in the larval stage. — neotenous, adj.
See also: Insects
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.neoteny - an evolutionary trend to be born earlier so that development is cut off at an earlier stage and juvenile characteristics are retained in adults of the species
evolutionary trend - a general direction of evolutionary change
References in periodicals archive ?
Delayed maturation, neoteny, and social system differences in two manakins of the genus Chiroxiphia.
Also participating in the round are returning investors Khosla Ventures, Mena Ventures, Neoteny Labs, O'Reilly AlphaTech, Lerer Ventures and an all-star lineup of new and returning angel investors noted below.
com/videos/1010376v-official-viki-channel-viki-concept-video-episode-10 Users: 22 million+ Mobile app installs: 12 million+ Minutes viewed per day: 40 million+ Streams per year: 1 billion+ Viewer countries: 200 Regional strengths: North America, South America, Asia Words subtitled: 400 million+ Subtitle languages: 160+ Content highlights: 14K+ hours of global prime-time content from 40+ global broadcasters Investors: Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, Neoteny Labs, SK Telecom, SingTel, BBCWorldwide, 500 StartUps
Ito has been the director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab since last September and has been chief executive of the venture-capital firm Neoteny Co.
Neoteny and progenesis as two heterochronic processes involved in paedomorphosis in Triturns alpestris (Amphibia: Caudata).
Neoteny and the urogenital system in the salamander Dicamptodon ensatus (Eschsholtz).
By viewing healthful food as a youth serum, eliminating unhealthful lifestyle habits as though they were the poisonous apples in the fairytales, cultivating healthy physiology as though it's the hottest new trend in town, and maintaining a youthful mindset of neoteny (viewing the world with the curiosity, joy, and positivity of children), we can live a full and healthy life as though we are ail in our "20s.
Now there are concepts such as neoteny, which suggests that all humans stop their development at the ape juvenile stage and have developed a bigger brain and a less prognathic face.
In many other cases, the resemblance of "adults" of closely related species with the early forms of heteroblastic species is interpreted as indications of neoteny.
Neoteny is when an adult of a species still retains traits--like big eyes--usually seen only in babies and juveniles.
Although the discussions of neoteny and brain censorship are rather interesting, this book has a number of significant problems from the philosophical, neuroscientific, and scholarly perspectives.