lo·​cus | \ ˈlō-kəs How to pronounce locus (audio) \
plural loci\ ˈlō-​ˌsī How to pronounce loci (audio) , -​ˌkī , -​ˌkē \

Definition of locus

1a : the place where something is situated or occurs : site, location was the culture of medicine in the beginning dispersed from a single focus or did it arise in several loci?— S. C. Harvey
b : a center of activity, attention, or concentration in democracy the locus of power is in the people— H. G. Rickover
2 : the set of all points whose location is determined by stated conditions
3 : the position in a chromosome of a particular gene or allele

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of locus in a Sentence

The area became a locus of resistance to the government. an area of the Southwest that has been the locus of a number of New Agey movements
Recent Examples on the Web An app that becomes the locus for digital transactions is sure to keep a user’s attention and to spin off valuable data. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "As Denmark turns away from cash, a payment app has more likes than Facebook," 9 Oct. 2019 The home garage as a locus of scrappy invention is also discussed in Olivia Erlanger and Luis Ortega Govela’s 2018 book, titled Garage. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, "The home garage is the design template for many start-up offices," 30 Sep. 2019 Get our daily newsletter With the locus of Christianity moving southward, this troubled continent represents the faith’s greatest hope. The Economist, "Why Pope Francis struggles in Africa," 7 Sep. 2019 The mood was peaceful, save for a single locus of agitation. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "Evening in America: What it felt like on Trump’s 4th of July," 5 July 2019 Kid Gloves The YouTube case presents a unique locus for those frustrations. Wired, "Fines Alone Aren't Enough to Slow Down Big Tech," 4 Sep. 2019 Established in 1777 as the main supplier of weaponry for the Continental Army, the armory evolved into the principal locus of mechanical innovation in the United States. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "The Green New Deal: A Capitalist Plot (Part 2)," 15 Aug. 2019 The locus of resistance is expected to be in the Kashmir valley, home to about 7 million people, where a small but dogged insurgency and a lot of resentment exist. Jeffrey Gettleman And,, "As Modi addresses India, protests flare in Kashmir," 8 Aug. 2019 There is no way for such a locus to exist only in opposing octants of a cube. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘The Slippery Math of Causation’," 29 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of locus

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for locus

Latin — more at stall

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about locus

Statistics for locus

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for locus

The first known use of locus was in 1648

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for locus


How to pronounce locus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of locus

formal : a central or main place where something happens or is found


lo·​cus | \ ˈlō-kəs How to pronounce locus (audio) \
plural loci\ ˈlō-​ˌsī, -​ˌkī also -​ˌkē \

Medical Definition of locus

1 : a place or site of an event, activity, or thing the integrity of the tissues determines the extent and locus of the damage— Sylvia E. Hines
2 : the position in a chromosome of a particular gene or allele


lo·​cus | \ ˈlō-kəs How to pronounce locus (audio) \

Legal Definition of locus

: the place connected with a particular event having legal significance

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on locus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for locus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with locus

Nglish: Translation of locus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of locus for Arabic Speakers

Comments on locus

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


not being in agreement or harmony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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