allele

noun
al·​lele | \ ə-ˈlēl How to pronounce allele (audio) \

Definition of allele

1 : any of the alternative forms of a gene that may occur at a given locus (see locus sense 3)
2 : either of a pair of alternative Mendelian characters (see character entry 1 sense 1b(3)) (such as smooth and wrinkled seed in the pea)

Other Words from allele

allelic \ ə-​ˈlē-​lik How to pronounce allele (audio) , -​ˈle-​ \ adjective
allelism \ ə-​ˈlē-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce allele (audio) , -​ˈle-​ \ noun

Examples of allele in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The gene’s association with Alzheimer’s, first reported in 1993, relates to one version of it, known as an allele, that dramatically increases the risk of illness. Jason Ulrich, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2021 Scientists dispute whether their rarity is because the recessive allele is the result of a one-time mutation or because white tigers lack adequate camouflage, negatively affecting their ability to stalk prey or avoid other predators. Azzedine Downes, Scientific American, 22 June 2021 To continue producing white tigers, captive tigers with this rare allele expression are intensively inbred over multiple generations. Azzedine Downes, Scientific American, 22 June 2021 In North Carolina and Indiana, where outbreaks had clear connections to the Biogen conference, nearly twenty per cent of samples contained the C2416T allele. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2020 Each allele brings its individual touch to the role. Quanta Magazine, 14 Sep. 2017 For example, some of the archaic alleles Sankararaman spotted in Africans were in genes that suppress tumors and regulate hormones. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, 20 Feb. 2020 Lola’s genome also contained alleles that are usually associated with the inability to produce lactase—an enzyme that’s important in digesting milk—as an adult. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 13 Feb. 2020 Each variant has a version (more precisely, one of the alleles in a single nucleotide polymorphism) associated with a small boost to the trait in question. Charles Murray, WSJ, 27 Jan. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allele.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of allele

1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for allele

perhaps as back-formation from allelism, from allel- (in allelomorph) + -ism

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Dictionary Entries Near allele

allegro form

allele

allelo-

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Statistics for allele

Cite this Entry

“Allele.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allele. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for allele

allele

noun
al·​lele | \ ə-ˈlē(ə)l How to pronounce allele (audio) \

Medical Definition of allele

1 : any of the alternative forms of a gene that may occur at a given locus
2 : either of a pair of alternative Mendelian characters (as ability versus inability to taste the chemical phenylthiocarbamide)

Other Words from allele

allelic \ -​ˈlē-​lik How to pronounce allele (audio) , -​ˈlel-​ik How to pronounce allele (audio) \ adjective
allelism \ -​ˈlē(ə)l-​ˌiz-​əm How to pronounce allele (audio) , -​ˈlel-​ˌiz-​ How to pronounce allele (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on allele

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about allele

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