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From my experience on SE sites, I believe this is the right site to ask this question under "terminology".

I've been trying to find out whether English has one-word verbs for "undergo mitosis" and "undergo meiosis". I haven't been able to find confirmation on Google, but my linguistic imagination is limited, and I may have failed to google the right things.

Could you tell me if there are such verbs in common use in biology? I mean, if such verbs exist, can I find them in modern biology books or papers?

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How about "divide" or even "multiply" (if you include the entire cell cycle)? Those are generic terms, but the process is called cell division. And minor pet peeve of mine: "Google" isn't a verb... –  jello Aug 23 '12 at 3:16
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@jello Thank you. As for "google", sorry, but it is. –  ymar Aug 23 '12 at 9:11
    
What's wrong with "to undergo mitosis"? –  nico Aug 23 '12 at 11:03
    
@nico Nothing is wrong with that. I just wanted to know if there's a shorter way of saying this. –  ymar Aug 23 '12 at 11:45

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'm actually not sure myself. If I were to use something, I would go with "Mitos'd" and "Meios'd".

However, you may not win over many fans, depending on the audience. If it's with students or maybe a professor, you could get away with shortening the processes. If it's in any formal setting, be as precise and descriptive as possible. It's not a lot of trouble to be more accurate and add "underwent" to the sentence.

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I agree - I do not recall seeing a verb for these actions, so in a paper or report use the actual terminology. But during discussions I'm sure people will get your meaning if you shorten the terms to "mitose" or "mitosed", or something. –  Luke Aug 23 '12 at 8:42

Mitosis as a process does not have a verb form. However, as a process, there is an adjective; you could describe cells that undergo mitosis as mitotic.

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Languages evolve on their own when they need to, you should embrace it rather than worrying about some language stickler telling you made a typo.

I think everyone would know what you mean by "meios" and "mitos", and it might catch on. I'm not advocating slang, but given the opaque jargon I see scientists making up every day, I'd advocate streamlining the terminology before someone invents some abominable acronym for a clumsy phrase built around "undergoes meiosis".

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