Find the word definition

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Polyphyletic \Pol`y*phy*let"ic\, a. [Poly- + Gr. ? clan.] (Biol.) Pertaining to, or characterized by, descent from more than one root form, or from many different root forms; polygenetic; -- opposed to monophyletic.


a. (context biology English) Having multiple ancestral sources; referring to a taxon that does not contain the most recent common ancestor of its members.

Usage examples of "polyphyletic".

Between the Hepaticae, Anthocerotales, Sphagnales and Musci, there are no connecting forms known, and it must be left as an open question whether the Bryophyta are a monophyletic or polyphyletic group.