DNA

noun
\ ˌdē-ˌen-ˈā How to pronounce DNA (audio) \

Definition of DNA

: 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 (see base entry 1 sense 6b) 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

Illustration of dna

DNA: A molecular model: 1 hydrogen, 2 oxygen, 3 carbon in the helical phosphate ester chains, 4 carbon and nitrogen in the cross-linked purine and pyrimidine bases, 5 phosphorus; B double helix

First Known Use of DNA

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for DNA

deoxyribonucleic acid

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Statistics for DNA

Cite this Entry

“DNA.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/DNA. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for DNA

DNA

noun
How to pronounce DNA (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of DNA

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

DNA

noun
\ ˌdē-ˌen-ˈā How to pronounce DNA (audio) \

Kids Definition of DNA

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

DNA

noun
\ ˌdē-ˌen-ˈā How to pronounce DNA (audio) \

Medical Definition of DNA

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on DNA

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with DNA

Spanish Central: Translation of DNA

Nglish: Translation of DNA for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of DNA for Arabic Speakers

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