The ability of a cell to differentiate into a limited number of cell types or into closely related family of cells.
Progenitor cells show multipotency in a way that they can give rise to many but limited types of cell. For example, a hematopoietic cell can give rise to several types of blood cells but not into brain cells or other types of cells.
Word origin: multi– » Latin multus, much, many + –potence » from Latin potentia, power, capacity.
Related forms: multipotent (adjective).
Compare: unipotence, pluripotence, totipotence.
See also: potency.