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

DNA

play
noun \ˌdē-ˌen-ˈā\

Simple Definition of DNA

  • : a substance that carries genetic information in the cells of plants and animals

Full Definition of DNA

  1. :  any of various nucleic acids that are usually the molecular basis of heredity, are constructed of a double helix held together by hydrogen bonds between purine and pyrimidine bases which project inward from two chains containing alternate links of deoxyribose and phosphate, and that in eukaryotes are localized chiefly in cell nuclei — compare recombinant dna

Illustration of dna

Origin of dna

deoxyribonucleic acid


First Known Use: 1944

Other Genetics Terms

Rhymes with dna

Adige, A-OK, alleyway, All Fools' Day, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, all the way, anyway, appliqué, Arbor Day, arrivé, atelier, attaché, back away, ballonet, bang away, Bastille Day, Beaujolais, beta ray, beurre manié, BHA, blow away, botonée, Boxing Day, breakaway, break away, Bristol Bay, bustier, by the way, cabaret, cableway, Camagüey, canapé, cap-a-pie, Cape Cod Bay, caraway, carriageway, cassoulet, castaway, cathode ray, champlevé, chansonnier, chardonnay, Charolais, chevalier, china clay, cloisonné, cog railway, colorway, Condorcet, consommé, coryphée, cosmic ray, croupier, crudités, cutaway, day-to-day, debauchee, déclassé, dégagé, degree-day, delta ray, démodé, devotee, disarray, disobey, distingué, divorcé, divorcée, dollar day, double play, draw away, dress-down day, eagle ray, eightfold way, émigré, engagé, entranceway, entremets, entryway, espalier, everyday, exposé, expressway, fadeaway, fallaway, fall away, faraday, Faraday, faraway, fiancé, fiancée, fill away, fire away, flageolet, flyaway, foldaway, gal Friday, gamma ray, garde-manger, Georgian Bay, getaway, girl Friday, giveaway, give away, gratiné, gratinée, Greenaway, Groundhog Day, guillemet, Harare, hell to pay, Hemingway, hereaway, hideaway, hit the hay, HLA, holiday, holy day, Hornaday, Hudson Bay, Hugh Capet, Humboldt Bay, in a way, inter se, interplay, intraday, IPA, IRA, Ise Bay, judgment day, keep-away, kyrie, Labor Day, lackaday, latter-day, layaway, lay away, lingerie, macramé, Mandalay, manta ray, Massenet, matinee, medal play, meet halfway, MIA, Milky Way, Monterrey, Mother's Day, motorway, muscadet, mystery play, negligee, New Year's Day, New York Bay, Nicolet, night and day, Nottaway, off Broadway, Ojibwa, on the way, out of play, overlay, overplay, overstay, overweigh, Paraguay, passageway, pass away, passion play, pepper spray, Petare, photoplay, pikake, pis aller, play-by-play, plug-and-play, popinjay, potter's clay, pourparler, pousse-café, power play, present-day, protégé, protégée, pull away, put away, Put-in-Bay, Rabelais, rack railway, rainy-day, rambouillet, ratiné, recamier, recherché, reconvey, repartee, repoussé, résumé, retroussé, ricochet, right away, right-of-way, rockaway, roentgen ray, rondelet, roundelay, RNA, runaway, run away, Saguenay, salt away, San Jose, Santa Fe, São Tomé, Saturday, satyr play, semplice, Seventh-Day, severance pay, shadow play, sleepaway, sobriquet, sock away, sommelier, square away, steerageway, standaway, stowaway, straightaway, street railway, Table Bay, taboret, tarsier, taxiway, tearaway, tear away, teleplay, Tenebrae, thataway, throwaway, throw away, Thunder Bay, triple play, turn away, Udine, underlay, underpay, underplay, underway, Uruguay, velouté, Venite, vérité, vertebra, virelay, walkaway, Wang Ching-wei, waterway, wellaway, Whitsunday, workaday, working day, Yenisey, Zuider Zee



DNA Defined for Kids

DNA

play
noun \ˌdē-ˌen-ˈā\

Definition of DNA

  1. :  a large organic molecule that carries genetic information in the chromosomes and resembles a twisted ladder




Medical Dictionary

DNA

play
noun \ˌdē-ˌen-ˈā\

Medical Definition of DNA

  1. :  any of various nucleic acids that are usually the molecular basis of heredity, are constructed of a double helix held together by hydrogen bonds between purine and pyrimidine bases which project inward from two chains containing alternate links of deoxyribose and phosphate, and that in eukaryotes are localized chiefly in cell nuclei—called also deoxyribonucleic acid; see recombinant dna



Illustration of dna


Learn More about dna


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez duvet spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ