Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

allele

play
noun al·lele \ə-ˈlēl\

Definition of allele

  1. 1 :  any of the alternative forms of a gene that may occur at a given locus

  2. 2 :  either of a pair of alternative Mendelian characters (as smooth and wrinkled seed in the pea)

allelic

play \-ˈlē-lik, -ˈle-\ adjective

allelism

play \-ˈlē-ˌli-zəm, -ˈle-\ noun


Origin and Etymology of allele

German Allel, short for Allelomorph


First Known Use: 1928


Medical Dictionary

allele

play
noun al·lele \ə-ˈlē(ə)l\

Medical Definition of allele

  1. 1:  any of the alternative forms of a gene that may occur at a given locus

  2. 2:  either of a pair of alternative Mendelian characters (as ability versus inability to taste the chemical phenylthiocarbamide)

allelic

\-ˈlē-lik, -ˈlel-ik\play play adjective

allelism

\-ˈlē(ə)l-ˌiz-əm, -ˈlel-ˌiz-\play play noun



Learn More about allele

  1. Medical Dictionary: Definition of allele Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about allele


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up allele? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

hiemal vernal estival brumal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ