n. pl. mei·o·ses (-sēz′)
1. Genetics The process of cell division in sexually reproducing organisms that reduces the number of chromosomes from diploid to haploid, as in the production of gametes.
2. Rhetorical understatement.
[Greek meiōsis, diminution, from meioun, to diminish, from meiōn, less; see mei-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
mei·otic (-ŏtĭk) adj.
(click for a larger image)meiosis
top to bottom:In meiosis a parent cell replicates and recombines, divides once to create two daughter cells, then divides again creating four daughter cells, each of which has half the genetic content of the original parent cell.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.