molecular biology


Definition of molecular biology

: a branch of biology dealing with the ultimate physicochemical organization of living matter and especially with the molecular basis of inheritance and protein synthesis

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from molecular biology

molecular biologist noun

Examples of molecular biology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Smith grew up in Illinois in the 1930s and 40s, when molecular biology was emerging as a branch of science, much of it focused on the nature of genes. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, who found life-saving ways to tweak genes, retires at 89," 19 Dec. 2020 Still, the way the study crosses from animal behavior to molecular biology is unique. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Winter, Pandas Love to Roll in Horse Poop," 9 Dec. 2020 Eventually, after around a decade, a mission trip, and studies in both molecular biology and nursing, Caroline had fulfilled her mother’s prayers. Eric Boodman, STAT, "As a nurse, she knew the daily traumas of Covid-19. Then her father landed in her ICU," 30 Dec. 2020 Hanane Hadj-Moussa is a doctoral candidate in molecular biology at Carleton University. CNN, "Hibernating primates like this tiny lemur could unlock cryogenic sleep for deep space missions," 28 Dec. 2020 Harman, who is pursuing a doctorate of philosophy degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, has been active in the Student Government Association at LSU Health New Orleans. Staff Reports,, "LSU cancer researcher recognized, and other metro area health news," 9 Dec. 2020 DeepMind trounced academic molecular biology labs that had been working on the protein-folding problem for a lot longer. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Lessons from DeepMind’s breakthrough in protein-folding A.I.," 1 Dec. 2020 Lynne Quarmby is a professor of molecular biology at Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "The Climate Debt the U.S. Owes the World," 3 Dec. 2020 Bell graduated from Seymour High School and the University of Hartford, and worked for years in the field of molecular biology, Henry said. Don Stacom,, "Plymouth mother accused of murdering her daughter and wounding her son was a substitute teacher until a few months ago," 16 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'molecular biology.' 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 molecular biology

1884, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about molecular biology

Time Traveler for molecular biology

Time Traveler

The first known use of molecular biology was in 1884

See more words from the same year

Statistics for molecular biology

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Molecular biology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for molecular biology

molecular biology


Medical Definition of molecular biology

: a branch of biology dealing with the study and understanding of biological activity and processes at the molecular level and especially the molecular basis of gene function and protein synthesis Molecular biology experiments proved that small pieces of DNA did sometimes move within or between chromosomes, thereby triggering changes in gene expression.— John Rennie, Scientific American, March 1993 The test is based on several recent advances in molecular biology, including the new insight that cells slip into the uncontrolled growth known as cancer through defects in specific enzymes that monitor and control division.— Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times, 11 Oct. 1994

More from Merriam-Webster on molecular biology Encyclopedia article about molecular biology

Comments on molecular biology

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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