codon

noun
co·​don | \ ˈkō-ˌdän How to pronounce codon (audio) \

Definition of codon

: a specific sequence of three consecutive nucleotides that is part of the genetic code and that specifies a particular amino acid in a protein or starts or stops protein synthesis

called also triplet

Examples of codon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The same general argument could apply to whether three is the best number of letters for constituting a codon. Quanta Magazine, "Is a Bigger Genetic Code Better? Get Ready to Find Out," 2 Jan. 2018 Researchers studying the genetic code have gradually determined that its codon-amino acid assignments are decidedly not random. Quanta Magazine, "Is a Bigger Genetic Code Better? Get Ready to Find Out," 2 Jan. 2018 In modern strains, it has been reduced to an imperfect, nonfunctional copy called a pseudogene, thanks to a stop codon in the middle of its sequence. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA reveals the secrets of a devastating European disease," 26 Sep. 2018 Repurposing just one codon across all 20,000 human genes will require hundreds of thousands of DNA changes. Elie Dolgin, Scientific American, "Scientists Downsize Bold Plan to Make Human Genome from Scratch," 1 May 2018 Because viruses’ genes include the redundant codons. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Genome ‘writers’ set their first goal: recoding human cells to resist viruses," 1 May 2018 And life can get by with only one codon for each amino acid. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Genome ‘writers’ set their first goal: recoding human cells to resist viruses," 1 May 2018 Church’s team used synthesis in follow-up work to recode seven codons in the E. coli genome. Elie Dolgin, Scientific American, "Scientists Downsize Bold Plan to Make Human Genome from Scratch," 1 May 2018 Hysolli explains that, rather than synthesize every nucleotide in my Y chromosome, Church’s team will focus on discrete genetic units, called codons, that determine what kind of amino acids (and, eventually, proteins) are produced by a cell. David Ewing Duncan, WIRED, "The Next Best Version of Me: How to Live Forever," 27 Mar. 2018

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

1963, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for codon

code entry 1 + -on entry 2

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Time Traveler for codon

Time Traveler

The first known use of codon was in 1963

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Statistics for codon

Cite this Entry

“Codon.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/codon. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for codon

codon

noun
co·​don | \ ˈkō-ˌdän How to pronounce codon (audio) \

Medical Definition of codon

: a specific sequence of three consecutive nucleotides that is part of the genetic code and that specifies a particular amino acid in a protein or starts or stops protein synthesis

called also triplet

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on codon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with codon

Nglish: Translation of codon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about codon

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