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

Examples of chromosome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Of the first 100,000 women tested, 10 (or 0.01%) had unusual chromosome patterns. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Cancer Screening Leaps Forward," 5 July 2020 All the cells of female dogs, except for egg cells, have two copies of each chromosome with a total of approximately 5 billion DNA base pairs. Quanta Magazine, "How to Breed a Pomsky and Other Questions About Dogs and Sex," 18 June 2020 Eloise was diagnosed with a deletion in chromosome 8 more than three years ago — but Richards is still navigating best courses of care for her child. Natalie Stone, PEOPLE.com, "Denise Richards' Daughter Eloise, 9, Recently Said 'Dad' for the 'First Time': 'Greatest Gift'," 23 June 2020 So far, the most obvious gene involved in the different reactions people have to COVID-19, sits on chromosome 3, and affects the entry of the virus into cells. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "Why do some infected with the coronavirus escape COVID-19 unharmed? It's probably their genes," 17 June 2020 As cells age, their telomeres shorten, and chromosomes in turn stop the cell from dividing further, Chen says. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "'Missing link' between pond scum and humans discovered, holds promise for cancer research," 20 Nov. 2019 This test scans your baby’s DNA, which is floating around your own blood, for abnormalities — such as too many or not enough chromosomes. Emily Mullin, New York Times, "[Everything you need to know about," 17 Apr. 2020 Follow the recommendations for a healthy pregnancy, but know that most miscarriages occur because of faulty chromosomes in an embryo — not a pregnant woman’s diet or habits. Jyoti Madhusoodanan, New York Times, "How to Recognize Miscarriage Symptoms and Cope With the Aftermath," 16 Apr. 2020 To American girls -- those born with XX chromosomes -- the message is, 'Give up. Fox News, "Female HS track star says lawsuit to overturn Conn. transgender athlete policy 'absolutely necessary'," 19 Feb. 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

18 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chromosome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chromosome. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for chromosome

chromosome

noun
How to pronounce chromosome (audio)

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 chromosomal (audio) \ adjective
chromosomally \ -​mə-​lē How to pronounce chromosomally (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on chromosome

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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