epi·​ge·​nome ˌe-pə-ˈjē-ˌnōm How to pronounce epigenome (audio)
: the complement of chemical compounds that modify the expression and function of the genome
Access to the genes is controlled by the epigenome, a layer of millions of proteins and other marks that attach themselves to the genome.Nicholas Wade
Working out which genes are switched on or not involves looking at the epigenome, or the chemical "methyl" tags attached to genes.New Scientist

Examples of epigenome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Together the methyl groups and coiling proteins—what scientists call the epigenome—are essential for the brain to become a brain in the first place. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 12 Apr. 2023 The impact of various environmental factors—like climate, nutrition, and toxicants—on the epigenome has been shown to extend tens of hundreds of generations in fruit flies and hundreds of generations in plants. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 2 Feb. 2024 Further caveats: Housing conditions may impact other aspects of health aside from the epigenome. Byerin Prater, Fortune Well, 10 Oct. 2023 The team initially studied how a somatic cell epigenome transformed during the reprogramming process and figured out the exact moment aberrations emerged. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 17 Aug. 2023 Hitting the right spot on the epigenome essentially closed off the APOE4 gene, limiting its expression in mice, the researchers reported. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 16 July 2023 The epigenome, influenced by lifestyle choices, presents a reversible level of genetic fine-tuning. Salvatore Viscomi, Forbes, 22 Mar. 2023 Kellis led the data analysis team, which applied machine-learning algorithms to decode the language of the epigenome. Dan Ferber, Discover Magazine, 30 Nov. 2015 Sinclair therefore focused on another part of the genome, called the epigenome. Alice Park, Time, 12 Jan. 2023

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

Word History


epi- + genome, after epigenetic

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of epigenome was in 1991

Dictionary Entries Near epigenome

Cite this Entry

“Epigenome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epigenome. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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