double helix

noun

: a helix or spiral consisting of two strands in the surface of a cylinder that coil around its axis
especially : the structural arrangement of DNA in space that consists of paired polynucleotide strands stabilized by cross-links between purine and pyrimidine bases compare alpha-helix, watson-crick model
double-helical adjective

Examples of double helix in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The double helix structure of DNA was crucial in comprehending how genetic information is stored and transferred from one generation to the next. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 And roller coaster fans will be drawn by the Hot Wheels Bone Shaker: the Ultimate Ride coaster, which climbs 84 feet and drops down a double helix track, and the Hot Wheels Twin Mill Racer, which will feature a double loop and two corkscrews. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 3 Apr. 2024 The collar part is meant to represent DNA strands and double helix forms, while the rope motif represents the ropes that were historically used to transport the company’s famous trunks. Carol Besler, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 In the double helix of DNA, the four types of bases in the opposing strands are paired, with guanine (G) bound to cytosine (C) and thymine (T) bound to adenine (A). Dan Samorodnitsky, Quanta Magazine, 17 Jan. 2024 Nearby, gleeful screams emanated from a ride shaped like a double helix, and a child reached into a shoulder holster of baby-pink cotton candy for a bite of fluff. Ella Quittner, New York Times, 14 Oct. 2023 This is one sick twist of a tryst, with the two forming a strange — and ultimately tiresome — double helix of sadomasochistic desire and overweening ego. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 Lise Meitner is one of many women in science who failed to receive due credit for their work, including, perhaps most notably, Rosalind Franklin, the chemist who contributed to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953. Katrina Miller, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2023 There’s bitter irony in the fact that the work of a female scientist, Rosalind Franklin, uncredited at the time, is now acknowledged to have been key to Watson and Crick’s Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the double helix. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'double helix.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1954, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of double helix was in 1954

Dictionary Entries Near double helix

Cite this Entry

“Double helix.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/double%20helix. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

double helix

noun
: the arrangement in space of DNA that resembles a spirally twisted ladder with the sides made up of the sugar and phosphate units of the two nucleotide strands and the rungs made up of the pyrimidine and purine bases extending into the center and joined by hydrogen bonds

Medical Definition

double helix

noun
: a helix or spiral consisting of two strands in the surface of a cylinder that coil around its axis
especially : the structural arrangement of DNA in space that consists of paired polynucleotide strands stabilized by cross-links between purine and pyrimidine bases compare alpha-helix, watson-crick model
double-helical adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on double helix

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