au·​to·​some ˈȯ-tə-ˌsōm How to pronounce autosome (audio)
: a chromosome other than a sex chromosome

Examples of autosome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Michael Eisen pointed out on Twitter that my use of the law of segregation to compute the probability of inheritance from a single grandparent (50% of the autosome vs. 25% as expected) is misleading. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 19 Oct. 2013 Remember this is the ratio of the diversity of Z, the analog to the X, with the autosome. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 16 Sep. 2012 The concentration levels of autosomes in the human cell tend to be much lower than those of the mitochondria, and so Li and Austin were able to obtain only 50,000 SNPs, of which 16,000 were usable. IEEE Spectrum, 20 Mar. 2023 New data from India, which posits a hybrid autosome, predominantly recent exogenous Y lineages, and indigenous mtDNA lineages, may serve a model for Europe. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 19 Jan. 2010 The general answer is that the X chromosome experiences selective pressures differently from the autosome. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 27 Sep. 2010 His draft revealed that both X and Z arose from different autosome ancestors, and none of the 1,000 genes on the Z chromosome has a counterpart on the X. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 11 July 2010 Of each gene my father contributes one copy on the autosome. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 3 Feb. 2011 Law enforcement also tested 20 or so genetic markers from autosomes—nonsex chromosomes, which are inherited from both parents. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 15 Feb. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'autosome.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


auto- + -some entry 3

Note: The term was introduced by the American zoologist Thomas Harrington Montgomery, Jr. (1873-1912) in "The terminology of aberrant chromosomes and their behavior in certain Hemiptera," Science, new series vol. 33, no. 575 (January 5, 1906), pp. 36-38.

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of autosome was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near autosome

Cite this Entry

“Autosome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


au·​to·​some ˈȯt-ə-ˌsōm How to pronounce autosome (audio)
: a chromosome other than a sex chromosome

called also nonsex chromosome

compare allosome
autosomal adjective
autosomally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on autosome

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