From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


noun, plural: transmutation

(1) (biology) The evolutionary transformation of one species to another, as transmutation of species.

(2) The supposed conversion of base metals to another of greater value (for example into gold or silver).

(3) (radiobiology) The transformation of one element or isotope into another by the process of nuclear reaction.

(4) The act or process of transmuting; the state of being transmuted.


In biology, transmutation occurs in species level wherein one species change into another by the process of evolution. Another is by nuclear transmutation in which some studies show that it occurs within living organisms.

In radiobiology, an example of transmutation is the transmutation of uranium-238 into plutonium-239 through the absorption of a neutron and subsequent beta emission.

Word origin: from Late Latin transmutationem (a change, shift)

Related forms: transmutational (adjective)

Related terms: