Spontaneous generation

Spontaneous generation
Spontaneous Spon*ta"ne*ous (sp[o^]n*t[=a]"n[-e]*[u^]s), a. [L. spontaneus, fr. sponte of free will, voluntarily.] 1. Proceeding from natural feeling, temperament, or disposition, or from a native internal proneness, readiness, or tendency, without constraint; as, a spontaneous gift or proposition. [1913 Webster]

2. Proceeding from, or acting by, internal impulse, energy, or natural law, without external force; as, spontaneous motion; spontaneous growth. [1913 Webster]

3. Produced without being planted, or without human labor; as, a spontaneous growth of wood. [1913 Webster]

{Spontaneous combustion}, combustion produced in a substance by the evolution of heat through the chemical action of its own elements; as, the spontaneous combustion of waste matter saturated with oil.

{Spontaneous generation}. (Biol.) See under {Generation}. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Voluntary; uncompelled; willing.

Usage: {Spontaneous}, {Voluntary}. What is voluntary is the result of a volition, or act of choice; it therefore implies some degree of consideration, and may be the result of mere reason without excited feeling. What is spontaneous springs wholly from feeling, or a sudden impulse which admits of no reflection; as, a spontaneous burst of applause. Hence, the term is also applied to things inanimate when they are produced without the determinate purpose or care of man. ``Abstinence which is but voluntary fasting, and . . . exercise which is but voluntary labor.'' --J. Seed. [1913 Webster]

Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play, The soul adopts, and owns their firstborn away. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster] -- {Spon*ta"ne*ous*ly}, adv. -- {Spon*ta"ne*ous*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spontaneous generation — Generation Gen er*a tion, n. [OE. generacioun, F. g[ e]n[ e]ration, fr.L. generatio.] 1. The act of generating or begetting; procreation, as of animals. [1913 Webster] 2. Origination by some process, mathematical, chemical, or vital; production;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spontaneous generation — spontaneous generation. См. биопоэз. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • spontaneous generation — n ABIOGENESIS * * * the discredited concept of the development of living organisms from nonliving matter …   Medical dictionary

  • spontaneous generation — n. the theory, now discredited, that living organisms can originate in nonliving matter independently of other living matter; abiogenesis …   English World dictionary

  • spontaneous generation — Biol. abiogenesis. [1650 60] * * * ▪ biology also called  Abiogenesis,         the hypothetical process by which living organisms develop from nonliving matter; also, the archaic theory that utilizes this process to explain the origin of life.… …   Universalium

  • spontaneous generation — noun Date: 1665 abiogenesis …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • spontaneous generation — Abiogenesis …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • spontaneous generation — (spon ta ne us) The hypothesis that living organisms can arise from nonliving matter …   Dictionary of microbiology

  • spontaneous generation — noun the fancied production of living organisms without previously existing parents from inorganic matter, or from decomposing organic matter, a notion which at one time had many supporters; abiogenesis …   Wiktionary

  • spontaneous generation — noun historical the supposed production of living organisms from non living matter …   English new terms dictionary

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