germ line

variants: or germline \ ˈjərm-​ˌlīn How to pronounce germline (audio) \

Definition of germ line

: the cellular lineage of a sexually-reproducing organism from which eggs and sperm are derived also : the genetic material contained in this cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation

Examples of germ line in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The germ line cells could later be thawed and used in natural and captive breeding programs. Rebecca Albright, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Taking Extreme Steps to Help Corals Survive," 1 Jan. 2018 Either way, Graham’s politicking altered the germ line of American Christianity. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "Billy Graham’s Circus Left Him Behind," 22 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'germ line.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of germ line

1925, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near germ line


germ layer


germ line


germ nucleus


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Time Traveler for germ line

The first known use of germ line was in 1925

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More Definitions for germ line

germ line


Medical Definition of germ line

: the cellular lineage especially of a sexually reproducing animal from which eggs and sperm are derived and in which a cell undergoing mutation can be passed to the next generation the difference between gene therapy of somatic cells and modification of the germ line— David Baltimore

Comments on germ line

What made you want to look up germ line? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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