A recessive gene is a gene that gets trumped by a dominant gene. For example, your mom's recessive gene for blue eyes was trumped by your dad's dominant gene for brown eyes. That's how you got stuck with brown eyes.

  • Pronunciation: /rɪ'sɛsɪv/
  • English Description: (genetics) either of a pair (or series) of alternative forms of a gene that can occupy the same locus on a particular chromosome and that control the same character
  • Synonyms: recessionary
  • Chinese Translation: 隐性的(yin3 xing4 de)
  • Spanish Translation: recesivo
  • ORIGIN: You might remember the word recessive from biology, where it most often appears. Its opposite is dominant and is always living in its shadow. A recessive allele has to team up with another recessive allele in order to show up. We can also use recessive to describe something that has the tendency to withdraw or recede, or something pertaining to an economic recession.


  • But it's usually caused by a genetic mutation to favor recessive genes, which is the case with this fancy grasshopper.
  • White lions have a recessive gene that makes their coat very light in color.

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