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Ontogenesis is also called: Ontogeny.

Biological meaning

  1. The entire sequence of origin and development of an individual organism from embryo to adult.
  2. The development of an individual organism or of an anatomical or behavioural feature from the earliest stage to maturity (of the animal/plant concerned).
  3. The process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level during a lifetime.


Psychological meaning

The process during which personality and sexual behavior of an individual person mature through a series of stages (Psychosexual development).


Related concepts

Compare with: Phylogenesis , Palingenesis .

Phylogeny relates to genetic development of a species during evolution, while Ontogeny relates to physiological (and psychological) development of an individual during his / her lifetime. Phylogenesis: long-term time scale. Ontogenesis: short-term time scale.


Linguistic derivation

The term Ontogenesis is derived from the ancient Greek words ontos (ὄντος), meaning "being", plus the term genesis (γένεσις) meaning "origin", "source", or "birth".
In Ontogeny, the suffix -geny also expresses the concept of "mode of production".