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 Down Syndrome is a genetic chromosome 21 disorder causing developmental and intellectual delays. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al, "Mobile man featured in Down Syndrome Awareness video above Times Square," 15 Sep. 2019 Some intersex conditions are known to run in families, though that’s rare for XXY chromosomes, said Dr. Adrian Dobs, director of the Klinefelter Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Washington Post, "Lovingly, a family raises an intersex child - again," 10 June 2019 But the circles can accommodate at most a couple of hundred thousand bases, and synthetic biologists often want to move large segments of chromosomes containing multiple genes, which can be millions of bases long or more. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Forget single genes: CRISPR now cuts and splices whole chromosomes," 29 Aug. 2019 Darlington researched the ways that chromosomes influenced heredity, which eventually grew into an interest in eugenics, particularly the role of race in the inheritance of intelligence. Leila Mcneill, Smithsonian, "The Pioneering Female Botanist Who Sweetened a Nation and Saved a Valley," 1 Aug. 2019 All of us are identified by a pair of chromosomes which is 99% similar. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A young, US-educated entrepreneur is giving Indian men’s underwear a makeover," 31 July 2019 Narwhals and belugas have the same number of chromosomes, which isn't a surefire indicator of fertility, but is at least a step in the right direction. Jason Bittel, Anchorage Daily News, "The ‘narluga’ is a strange hybrid. But it’s far from alone.," 28 June 2019 A year in space caused Scott's carotid artery to thicken, DNA damage, gene expression changes, a thickening of the retina, shifts in gut microbes, reduced cognitive abilities and a structural change at the ends of chromosomes called telomeres. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "What it takes to be an astronaut: the real 'right stuff'," 17 June 2019 As a result, different cells within the same tumor can look quite different, with different numbers of chromosomes and unique mutations, for example. Quanta Magazine, "Tracking the Evolution of Cancer, Cell by Cell," 13 Nov. 2013

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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Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for chromosome

The first known use of chromosome was in 1889

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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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