ETYM New Lat., from Greek meiosis, from meioyn to make smaller, from meion. Related to Meionite.
Cell division that produces reproductive cells in sexually reproducing organisms; the nucleus divides into four nuclei each containing half the chromosome number (leading to gametes in animals and spores in plants).
Understatement of size or importance for rhetorical effect.
Litotes; misrepresentation of thing as being less than its actual size or importance; Biology, nuclear division with halving of chromosome number.
In biology, a process of cell division in which the number of chromosomes in the cell is halved. It only occurs in eukaryotic cells, and is part of a life cycle that involves sexual reproduction because it allows the genes of two parents to be combined without the total number of chromosomes increasing.
In sexually reproducing diploid animals (having two sets of chromosomes per cell), meiosis occurs during formation of the gametes (sex cells, sperm and egg), so that the gametes are haploid (having only one set of chromosomes). When the gametes unite during fertilization, the diploid condition is restored. In plants, meiosis occurs just before spore formation. Thus the spores are haploid and in lower plants such as mosses they develop into a haploid plant called a gametophyte which produces the gametes (see alternation of generations). See also mitosis.