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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 ?
In this essay, I argue that the juvenilization of the main character relates directly to the poet's ages of man, namely the contrasting nature between adolescenza and gioventute, an intertextual connection between the Convivio and the Commedia that has never been previously explored.
From Here to Maturity: Overcoming the Juvenilization of American Christianity discusses the concept of spiritual maturity: one that has been largely neglected in Christian circles.
Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s (Revised Edition).
2002, Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s,, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA.
Exum's feminization and juvenilization is reinforced to the point of annoyance following his decisive moment of agency.
Back then, of course, as Thomas Bergler recounts in his new book The Juvenilization of American Christianity, Christian leaders were primarily concerned about the threats of Communism and .
Some of the clearest examples of primary juvenilization can be found in autobiographical fictions by Canadian authors Beatrice Culleton Mosionier and Joy Kogawa.