From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


noun, plural: phenotypes

(1) The physical appearance or biochemical characteristic of an organism as a result of the interaction of its genotype and the environment

(2) The expression of a particular trait, for example, skin color, height, behavior, etc., according to the individual’s genetic makeup and environment



Of, pertaining to, relating to, describing a phenotype


The phenotype is the total characteristics displayed by an organism under a particular set of environmental factors, regardless of the actual genotype of the organism. It results from the expression of the genes of an organisms as well as the influence of environmental factors and random variation. The interaction between these factors has often been represented by the following relationship: genotype + environment + random variation → phenotype

The phenotype of an organism does not only entail the observable features such as morphology but it also includes molecules and structures such as RNA and proteins produced as coded by the genes.

Word origin: Latin phaeno- , from Greek phaino- (shining, comb. form of phaínein to shine, appear) + -type


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Related term(s):

Related form(s):

  • phenotypic (adjective)
  • phenotypically (adverb)