noun chro·mo·some \ˈkrō-mə-ˌsōm, -ˌzōm\

: the part of a cell that contains the genes which control how an animal or plant grows and what it becomes

Full Definition of CHROMOSOME

:  any of the rod-shaped or threadlike DNA-containing structures of cellular organisms that are located in the nucleus of eukaryotes, are usually ring-shaped in prokaryotes (as bacteria), and contain all or most of the genes of the organism; also :  the genetic material of a virus — compare chromatin
chro·mo·som·al \ˌkrō-mə-ˈsō-məl, -ˈzō-\ adjective
chro·mo·som·al·ly \-mə-lē\ adverb


International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1889

Other Genetics Terms

chimera, hermaphrodite, plasticity
CHROMOSOME Defined for Kids


noun chro·mo·some \ˈkrō-mə-ˌsōm\

Definition of CHROMOSOME for Kids

:  one of the rod-shaped or threadlike structures of a cell nucleus that contain genes and divide when the cell divides
Medical Dictionary


noun chro·mo·some \ˈkrō-mə-ˌsōm, -ˌzōm\

Medical Definition of CHROMOSOME

:  any of the usually linear bodies of the cell nucleus of eukaryotic organisms, the usually circular bodies of prokaryotic organisms (as bacteria), or especially in some schools of molecular biology the genomes of DNA viruses (as bacteriophages) that take up basophilic stains and contain most or all of the genes of the organism <both the chromosomes of cells and those of viruses can duplicate only in the complex environment of a living cell—J. D. Watson> <an episome, an element that may exist as a free circular plasmid, or that may become integrated into the bacterial chromosome as a linear sequence—Benjamin Lewin>
chro·mo·som·al \ˌkrō-mə-ˈsō-məl, -ˈzō-\ adjective
chro·mo·som·al·ly \-mə-lē\ adverb

Illustration of CHROMOSOME

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