nucleic acid

nu·​cle·​ic acid | \ nu̇-ˈklē-ik- How to pronounce nucleic acid (audio) , -ˈklā-, nyu̇- How to pronounce nucleic acid (audio) \

Definition of nucleic acid

: any of various complex organic acids (such as DNA or RNA) that are composed of nucleotide chains

Examples of nucleic acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, coronavirus core proteins often share upward of 95% of their nucleic acid or protein sequences due to their close origins. Andy Plump, STAT, 19 May 2021 Every day, millions of Americans’ immune systems are reprogrammed by sophisticated strands of frozen nucleic acid. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, 9 Apr. 2021 According to reports in Chinese state media in early February, Hubei health experts had expressed frustration with the accuracy of nucleic acid tests. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 30 Nov. 2020 Take note of the length of their nucleic acid sequence, including the unique, non-overlapping genes, proteins, and other information that’s encoded in them. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 The state also only accepts one form of testing, nucleic acid amplification. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, 11 Nov. 2020 Your metabolism accomplishes three main jobs: converting food into energy; breaking down food into its building blocks for protein, lipid, nucleic acid and some carbohydrate; and eliminating nitrogen wastes. Terezie Tolar-peterson, The Conversation, 28 Dec. 2020 Lucira said on its website that the company’s at-home test relies on molecular nucleic acid amplification technology, which is designed to detect whether an individual is shedding the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Anchorage Daily News, 18 Nov. 2020 When a particular protein is to be made, the DNA sequence of the relevant gene acts as a template for the creation of a complementary molecule made from another nucleic acid, RNA. The Economist, 20 Aug. 2020

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

1892, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nucleic acid

from their occurrence in cell nuclei

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Time Traveler for nucleic acid

Time Traveler

The first known use of nucleic acid was in 1892

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Statistics for nucleic acid

Last Updated

25 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nucleic acid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for nucleic acid

nucleic acid


English Language Learners Definition of nucleic acid

technical : any of various acids (such as DNA or RNA) that are found in living cells

nucleic acid

nu·​cle·​ic acid | \ n(y)u̇-ˌklē-ik- How to pronounce nucleic acid (audio) , -ˌklā- How to pronounce nucleic acid (audio) \

Medical Definition of nucleic acid

: any of various acids (as an RNA or a DNA) composed of nucleotide chains

More from Merriam-Webster on nucleic acid Encyclopedia article about nucleic acid


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