chromosome

noun
chro·​mo·​some | \ ˈkrō-mə-ˌsōm How to pronounce chromosome (audio) , -ˌzōm \

Definition of chromosome

: any of the rod-shaped or threadlike DNA-containing structures of cellular organisms that are located in the nucleus of eukaryotes, are usually ring-shaped in prokaryotes (such as bacteria), and contain all or most of the genes of the organism also : the genetic material of a virus — compare chromatin

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Other Words from chromosome

chromosomal \ ˌkrō-​mə-​ˈsō-​məl How to pronounce chromosome (audio) , -​ˈzō-​ \ adjective
chromosomally \ ˌkrō-​mə-​ˈsō-​mə-​lē How to pronounce chromosome (audio) , -​ˈzō-​ \ adverb

Examples of chromosome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Because this second sperm never partners up with its own egg, the chromosome count in its lineage stays low, creating only male cells. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meet the Bee With a Body That’s Half Male, Half Female," 2 Apr. 2020 Plant genomes also have more variations per chromosome pair than human genomes. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, "Alabama scientists move America closer to more biofuel," 12 Feb. 2021 According to his official biography, Lejeune in 1958 discovered the existence of an extra chromosome on the 21st pair during a study of the chromosomes of a child. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "French doctor who made Down discovery closer to sainthood," 21 Jan. 2021 Indeed, most pregnancies with a third copy of chromosome 21 end as miscarriages. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "The Last Children of Down Syndrome," 18 Nov. 2020 Here’s why: For starters, everyone receives a version of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene on chromosome 19 from both their mother and their father. Kaitlyn Pirie, Woman's Day, "How Your Genes Impact Your Risk for 5 Common Health Issues," 5 Dec. 2020 That includes a comparison with all breeds and breed groups, lifetime breed updates, chromosome map, wildcat index, and predisposition to genetic diseases and health markers. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Basepaws Cat DNA Test Review: Why It’s Actually Worth Your Money," 14 Dec. 2020 When this happens, instead of the normal pair, an extra chromosome 18 results (a triple) in the developing baby and disrupts the normal pattern of development in significant ways that can be life-threatening. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Jerry Jeudy playing for his sister, Trisomy 18 Foundation," 6 Dec. 2020 Clearly, something more than just an extra chromosome is going on. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "The Last Children of Down Syndrome," 18 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chromosome.' 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 chromosome

1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chromosome

borrowed from German Chromosom, from chromo- chromo- + -som -some entry 3

Note: The term Chromosom was first suggested by the German anatomist Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldeyer-Hartz in "Ueber Karyokinese und ihre Beziehungen zu den Befruchtungsvorgängen," Archiv für mikroskopische Anatomie, Band 23 (1888), p. 27: "In ester Linier möchte ich mir jedoch den Vorschlag erlauben, diejenigen Dinge, welche soeben mit Boveri als 'chromatische Elemente' bezeichnet wurden, an denen sich einer der wichtigsten Akten der Karyokinese, die Flemming'sche Längsteilung vollzieht, mit einem besonderen terminus technicus 'Chromosomen' zu belegen. Der Name 'primäre Schleifen' passt nicht, da wir bei weitem nicht immer eine Schleifenform für diese Dinge haben. 'Chromatische Elemente' ist zu lang. Andererseits sind sie so wichtig, dass ein besonderer kürzerer Name wünschenswerth erscheint. Plattne… gebraucht den Ausdruck 'Karyosomen'; da dieser aber zu sehr an Kernkörperchen erinnert, dürfte eine andere Bezeichnung vorzuziehen sein. Ist die von mir vorgeschlagene praktisch verwendbar, so wird sie sich wohl einbürgern, sonst möge sie bald der Vergessenheit anheimfallen." ("In the first place I must allow myself to suggest a new technical term, 'chromosomes,' for those things which have been designated by Boveri 'chromatic elements,' at which one of the most important acts of karyokinesis, Flemming's longitudinal splitting, is carried out. The name 'primary loops' is not suitable, since it is by no means the case that these things always have the form of a loop. 'Chromatic elements' is too long. On the other hand, they are so important that a special shorter name seems desirable. Plattner uses the expression 'karyosomes,' but as this too readily brings to mind nucleoli, another name is to be preferred. If the name I propose is serviceable, it will become customary, otherwise it will soon pass into oblivion.")

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Time Traveler for chromosome

Time Traveler

The first known use of chromosome was in 1889

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Last Updated

9 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chromosome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chromosome. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for chromosome

chromosome

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chromosome

: the part of a cell that contains the genes which control how an animal or plant grows and what it becomes

chromosome

noun
chro·​mo·​some | \ ˈkrō-mə-ˌsōm How to pronounce chromosome (audio) \

Kids Definition of chromosome

: one of the rod-shaped or threadlike structures of a cell nucleus that contain genes and divide when the cell divides

chromosome

noun
chro·​mo·​some | \ ˈkrō-mə-ˌsōm, -ˌzōm How to pronounce chromosome (audio) \

Medical Definition of chromosome

: any of the rod-shaped or threadlike DNA-containing structures of cellular organisms that are located in the nucleus of eukaryotes, are usually ring-shaped in prokaryotes (as bacteria), and contain all or most of the genes of the organism also : the genetic material of a virus

Other Words from chromosome

chromosomal \ ˌkrō-​mə-​ˈsō-​məl, -​ˈzō-​ How to pronounce chromosome (audio) \ adjective
chromosomally \ -​mə-​lē How to pronounce chromosome (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on chromosome

Nglish: Translation of chromosome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chromosome for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chromosome

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