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See also: récessive



From Latin recēdō +‎ -ive, or directly from New Latin recessīvus.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈsɛsɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛsɪv


recessive (comparative more recessive, superlative most recessive)

  1. Going back; receding.
  2. (genetics) Able to be masked by a dominant allele or trait.
    • 1944 June 21, James A. G. Rehn, South African Bird-Locust Records and Notes (Orthoptera; Acrididae; Cyrtacanthacridinae; Group Cyrtacanthacres), Notulae Naturae, Number 137, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, page 3,
      The Lydenburg male and the other two females have the infuscate pattern definitely more recessive and less evident, although traceable.
    • 1988, American Pigeon Journal, volume 76, page 36:
      This plan takes advantage of the fact that barless is the most recessive of a series of alleles.
    • 2001, D. P. Sponenberg, M. F. Rothschild, 6: Genetics of Coat Colour and Hair Texture, page 65:
      The series of murine Agouti alleles is a consistent array as it progresses from the most recessive to the most dominant allele (Jackson, 1994).
  3. (by extension) Not dominant; whose effect is masked by stronger effects.
    • 1979, Ken Heap, Process and Action in Work with Groups: The Preconditions for Treatment and Growth, page ix:
      The worker–client relationship is more recessive and has a more catalytic and enabling quality.
    • 2004, Jonathan H. Turner, Human Institutions: A Theory of Societal Evolution[1], page 112:
      The law-making or legislative component was the most recessive component of the legal system of hunter-gatherers, although decisions or advice given by mediators were remembered and used again to settle similar violations of rules or disputes among parties.




recessive (plural recessives)

  1. (genetics) A gene that is recessive.
    • 1915, Reginald Crundall Punnett, Mimicty in Butterflies[2], page 95:
      Suppose, for example, that we started with a population consisting of pure dominants, heterozygotes, and recessives in the ratio 1 : 4 : 4.
    • 1930, R. A. Fisher, J. H. Bennett, The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, page 50:
      Finally, if we suppose provisionally that the mutant genes are dominant just as often as they are recessive, selection will be far more severe in eliminating the disadvantageous dominants than in eliminating the disadvantageous recessives.
    • 1988, Arnel R. Hallauer, Marcelo J. Carena, J.B. Miranda Filho, 6: Selection: Theory, 2nd edition, page 234:
      Selection favoring recessives is common in maize breeding for several traits, such as sweetness, opacity, brachysm, lack of ligules.
    • 2008, Ascertainment Test, entry in George P. Rédei, Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics, and Informatics, page 147,
      In three-child families 27/64 will have no affected offspring, 9/37 will have 2, and 1/37 are expected to have 3 recessives.





  1. definite/plural of recessiv



recessive f pl

  1. feminine plural of recessivo