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 whole thing starts out with the two separate DNA double helices (or two locations of a single double helix) both inserted into the enzyme, with the DNA strands looking a bit like two U's with their bottoms facing each other. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 26 June 2024 The story comes to us in two twisted strands, a double helix of past and present. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 12 June 2024 This is a far cry from the basic narrative of biology that has held sway since the discovery of the DNA double helix some 70 years ago, which was all about DNA leading to proteins. Philip Ball, Scientific American, 14 May 2024 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 See all Example Sentences for double helix 

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 21 Jul. 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!