base-pair

verb
\ ˈbās-ˌper How to pronounce base-pair (audio) \
base-paired; base-pairing; base-pairs

Definition of base-pair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to participate in formation of a base pair adenine base-pairs with thymine

base pair

noun

Definition of base pair (Entry 2 of 2)

: one of the pairs of nucleotide bases on complementary strands of nucleic acid that consist of a purine on one strand joined to a pyrimidine on the other strand by hydrogen bonds holding together the two strands much like the rungs of a ladder and that include adenine linked to thymine in DNA or to uracil in RNA and guanine linked to cytosine in both DNA and RNA

Examples of base-pair in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The base pairing that holds the double helix together always involves pairing a one-ringed base with a two-ringed base, which maintains a constant width of the helix. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Single reaction mixture can produce all four RNA bases," 4 Oct. 2019 But Hud also wanted base pairs that, unlike traditional bases, could spontaneously assemble into long polymers. Quanta Magazine, "Chemists Seek Possible Precursor to RNA," 5 Feb. 2014 In that time, DNA has developed a lot of evolutionary baggage that can get in the way of smooth operation in computers, like physical differences in how base pairs behave. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Why DNA Might Be the Data Storage Solution of the Future," 10 Oct. 2019 Picture a ladder that twists like a corkscrew, with the sugar and phosphate acting as the side rails and the base pairs acting as the rungs. Ryan Rossotto, National Geographic, "DNA, explained," 12 June 2019 And in every case, the mutation involved the loss of hundreds to thousands of DNA base pairs. Quanta Magazine, "Fragile DNA Enables New Adaptations to Evolve Quickly," 5 Feb. 2019 The filament houses the virus's RNA, a string of genetic material about 19,000 base pairs long that encodes seven proteins. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "What is the Ebola virus, and can it be stopped?," 9 Apr. 2019 In the case of Hologic’s M. gen test, Getman said, the area used for detection was only about 80 nucleic acid base pairs long out of a larger string of more than 500,000. San Diego Union-Tribune, "New test from San Diego’s Hologic is first in U.S. to help detect new STD threat," 2 Aug. 2019 The prevailing wisdom said that DNA should have been too riddled with base pair errors to say anything of value about the past. Quanta Magazine, "Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems," 29 May 2019

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

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First Known Use of base-pair

Verb

1973, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1955, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for base-pair

Time Traveler

The first known use of base-pair was in 1955

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Cite this Entry

“Base-pair.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/base-pair. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for base-pair

base pair

noun
\ -ˈpa(ə)r, -ˈpe(ə)r How to pronounce base pair (audio) \

Medical Definition of base pair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one of the pairs of nucleotide bases on complementary strands of nucleic acid that consist of a purine on one strand joined to a pyrimidine on the other strand by hydrogen bonds holding together the two strands much like the rungs of a ladder and that include adenine linked to thymine in DNA or to uracil in RNA and guanine linked to cytosine in both DNA and RNA

Medical Definition of base pair (Entry 2 of 2)

: to participate in formation of a base pair adenine base pairs with thymine

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