Etymology
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neoteny (n.)

"retention of juvenile characteristics in adult life," 1898, from German neotenie (1884), from Greek neos "young" (see new) + teinein "to extend," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Related: Neotenic (1884).

updated on May 25, 2019

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Definitions of neoteny from WordNet

neoteny (n.)
an evolutionary trend to be born earlier so that development is cut off at an earlier stage and juvenile characteristics are retained in adults of the species;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.