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 At the time, HGP used a process called bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC), where scientists used a bacterium to clone each piece of the genome, and then study them in smaller groups. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 3 June 2021 By 2011, Boeke and his colleagues could report success in building one arm of a chromosome, chromosome number nine. David Biello, Scientific American, 27 Mar. 2014 Each chromosome resembles an X-shaped tangle, and centromeres are located close to the pinched, knot-like center of each criss-cross. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 June 2021 Yet that doesn’t mean a chromosome 3 SNP test will quickly find medical use, Khera adds. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, 7 June 2021 How fish become male or female is far weirder and more varied than the XX-female, XY-male chromosome system of humans. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 14 May 2021 In those with trisomy 21, the individual possesses a full extra copy of the chromosome. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 28 May 2021 And contrary to popular lore, Ecstasy does not leave holes in users’ brains, studies say, nor will a bad acid trip lead to chromosome damage. New York Times, 9 May 2021 The visitors attack earthbound organisms through their DNA, altering those creatures at the levels of the chromosome: invasion by way of aggressive evolution. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 20 Apr. 2021

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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Learn More About chromosome

Time Traveler for chromosome

Time Traveler

The first known use of chromosome was in 1889

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Last Updated

7 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chromosome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chromosome. Accessed 25 Jul. 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

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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