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The term "meiosis" for haploid cell division was first termed by researchers J. E. Farmer and J. B. Moore in 1905. The haploid cell division it refers to was first noted a few years before that but Farmer and Moore were the first to apply the term meiosis to it. It actually derives from the Greek word meaning "reduction" or "lessening". The term meiosis has been around in the English language for several centuries where it has been used to mean "OK" in an understated fashion. Farmer and Moore decided to use the term for haploid cell division since the number of chromosomes is reduced or lessened, thus properly reflecting the term's original Greek meaning.
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