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

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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 The Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Native Americans who once populated Palm Springs in great number considered the Tahquitz Canyon a locus of great spiritual importance. Sunset Magazine, "A Local’s Guide to Palm Springs," 29 Dec. 2020 Dating back to the days of the late Roy Leonard, the show long has been a locus for arts and entertainment coverage. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: 9,420 new COVID-19 cases and 190 additional fatalities reported, as state passes 14,000 deaths and Chicago-area hospitals get ready for vaccine," 11 Dec. 2020 The West Coast also was the locus for the hottest digital theater company in the land. Washington Post, "Best theater of 2020: Sondheim’s birthday, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Mary Neely, ‘The Amen Corner’ and more," 9 Dec. 2020 Local sachemships were the locus of people’s daily lives and the most stable political unit, whereas the paramount sachemship was a regional confederation that ebbed and flowed according to shared needs and strong, charismatic leaders. National Geographic, "Massasoit's strategic diplomacy kept peace with the Pilgrims for decades," 19 Nov. 2020 Bucking convention, Trump’s son-in-law, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, established an independent locus of power inside the West Wing. Michael Scherer, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden picks Klain as chief of staff, signaling end of Trump-era chaos," 12 Nov. 2020 For several years, activists in Minneapolis have identified the city’s park system as a locus of, and a possible solution to, injustices within and around communities. Gili Ostfield, The New Republic, "Ten Moves, Two Tents, and Five Months of a Housing Reckoning in Minneapolis," 30 Oct. 2020 The stakes were clear this past weekend as the White House became the locus for a second outbreak of the virus in a month. Arkansas Online, "Trump charges into battleground states despite rising virus," 26 Oct. 2020 The stakes were clear this weekend as the White House became the locus for a second outbreak of the virus in a month. Zeke Miller And Alexandra Jaffe,, "Trump, Biden hitting battleground states in campaigns’ final full week," 26 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of locus

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for locus

Latin — more at stall

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Time Traveler for locus

Time Traveler

The first known use of locus was in 1648

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Statistics for locus

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Locus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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

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Comments on locus

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