molecule

noun

mol·​e·​cule ˈmä-li-ˌkyül How to pronounce molecule (audio)
1
: the smallest particle of a substance that retains all the properties (see property sense 1a) of the substance and is composed of one or more atoms (see atom sense 1a)
a molecule of water
a molecule of oxygen
2
: a tiny bit : particle
a molecule of political honestyTime

Examples of molecule in a Sentence

There is not a molecule of evidence to support these charges. not a molecule of sense in that girl
Recent Examples on the Web Interestingly, successful gene therapies often use RNA molecules to modify DNA rather than directly manipulating it. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 With each inhale, hemoglobin passes through the lungs, picking up oxygen molecules and distributing them to the rest of your body, including your heart, brain, and extremities. Lizzy Briskin, SELF, 26 Mar. 2024 The sample strands are tagged with fluorescent molecules, and the user learns which DNA sequences were present in the sample by examining which spots light up. Phillip W. Barth, IEEE Spectrum, 25 Mar. 2024 For instance, the molecules cancer antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3) and carcinoemybronic antigen (CEA) are elevated in breast cancer patients, so monitoring their levels can let physicians know whether treatment is working. Danielle Whitham, Discover Magazine, 22 Mar. 2024 Tamanu oil contains a molecule called calophyllolide, which, in a 1980 study, was found to possess possibly potent anti-inflammatory benefits. Sophia Panych, Allure, 29 Feb. 2024 Hydrogen peroxide is simply water with an extra oxygen molecule (H₂O₂). Caitlin Sole, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Mar. 2024 Detecting complex organic molecules in space is helping astronomers to determine the molecules’ origins as well as those of other larger cosmic molecules. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 15 Mar. 2024 During digestion, lactase produced in the lining of the small intestine splits lactose into smaller sugar molecules (known as glucose and galactose) for absorption. Brittany Lubeck, Ms, Rdn, Verywell Health, 7 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

French molécule, from New Latin molecula, diminutive of Latin moles mass

First Known Use

1701, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of molecule was in 1701

Dictionary Entries Near molecule

Cite this Entry

“Molecule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/molecule. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

molecule

noun
mol·​e·​cule ˈmäl-i-ˌkyü(ə)l How to pronounce molecule (audio)
1
: the smallest particle of a substance having all the characteristics of the substance
a molecule of water
a molecule of oxygen
2
: a very small bit : particle

Medical Definition

molecule

noun
mol·​e·​cule ˈmäl-i-ˌkyü(ə)l How to pronounce molecule (audio)
: the smallest particle of a substance that retains all the properties of the substance and is composed of one or more atoms

More from Merriam-Webster on molecule

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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