from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species, as among certain amphibians.
- n. The attainment of sexual maturity by an organism still in its larval stage.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The retention of juvenile characteristics in the adult.
- n. The sexual maturity of an organism still in its larval stage.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In biology: The reversion of a phylum to a modified embryonic condition.
- n. The retention by an organism of larval or juvenile characters beyond the time characteristic of other members of the group to which it belongs. This may be partial, as in the case of some toads and frogs, whose young pass the winter in the tadpole condition, or total, as in some salamanders that retain their external gills when adult. Also neotenia.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. 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
New Latin neotenia : neo- + Greek teinein, ten-, to extend; see tenesmus.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From German Neotenie, in turn from Ancient Greek νέος (neos, "young") and τείνειν (teinein, "tend to"). (Wiktionary)