Polyspermy

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Definition

noun

The fertilization of an ovum by more than one sperm.


Supplement

The ovum fertilized by more than one sperm results in having more than two copies of each chromosome -- one from the ovum and one each from the sperms. The resulting zygote is often inviable.


Word origin: from polyspermia » Gk polyspermía abundance of seed + -y.
Related forms: polyspermic (adjective)

Compare: monospermy.
See also: fertilization.