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 Every three consecutive nucleotides in this chain can constitute what’s called a codon. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 One way that viruses adapt is by encoding proteins using the same choice of codons as their host. David Cyranoski, Scientific American, 23 Jan. 2020 One way is using genetic data to look at codons—triplets of DNA or RNA letters that are the instructions for making proteins. Megan Molteni, Wired, 23 Jan. 2020 Wei’s team compared the codons favoured by 2019-nCoV with those preferred by potential hosts including hedgehogs, pangolins, bats, chickens, humans and snakes. David Cyranoski, Scientific American, 23 Jan. 2020 Wei’s team compared the codons preferred by 2019-nCoV to those preferred by a handful of potential hosts: humans, bats, chickens, hedgehogs, pangolins, and two species of snakes. Megan Molteni, Wired, 23 Jan. 2020 The same general argument could apply to whether three is the best number of letters for constituting a codon. Quanta Magazine, 2 Jan. 2018 Researchers studying the genetic code have gradually determined that its codon-amino acid assignments are decidedly not random. Quanta Magazine, 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, 26 Sep. 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of codon

1962, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for codon

code entry 1 + -on entry 2

Learn More About codon

Dictionary Entries Near codon

codominant

codon

codpiece

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for codon

Cite this Entry

“Codon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/codon. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on codon

Nglish: Translation of codon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about codon

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