allele

noun al·lele \ ə-ˈlēl \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of allele

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

allelic

play \-ˈlē-lik, -ˈle-\ adjective

allelism

play \-ˈlē-ˌli-zəm, -ˈle-\ noun

Recent Examples of allele from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of allele

German Allel, short for Allelomorph


Medical Dictionary

allele

noun al·lele \ ə-ˈlē(ə)l \

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)

allelic

play \-ˈlē-lik, -ˈlel-ik\ adjective

allelism

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

Learn More 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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!