nu·​cle·​o·​tide | \ ˈnü-klē-ə-ˌtīd How to pronounce nucleotide (audio) , ˈnyü- \

Definition of nucleotide

: any of several compounds that consist of a ribose or deoxyribose sugar joined to a purine or pyrimidine base and to a phosphate group and that are the basic structural units of nucleic acids (such as RNA and DNA) — compare nucleoside

Examples of nucleotide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many genetic traits and diseases are caused by a single nucleotide change, so base editing offers a powerful alternative for biotechnology and medicine. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "New ‘prime’ genome editor could surpass CRISPR," 21 Oct. 2019 But more than 40 known inherited conditions, including Huntington’s and myotonic dystrophy, are marked by too many DNA nucleotide repeats. Jonathan Saltzman,, "Cambridge startup targeting Huntington’s officially debuts after raising $59m," 17 Dec. 2019 As a first step toward making a copy of itself, a single strand of RNA can take up complementary nucleotide building blocks from its surroundings and stitch them together. Quanta Magazine, "Origin-of-Life Study Points to Chemical Chimeras, Not RNA," 16 Sep. 2019 Then, in a process called sequencing, researchers create an output that represents the original nucleotide sequence. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entirety of YouTube Could Fit on a Teaspoon," 13 Sep. 2019 Genomic Prediction screens embryos for 1m single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)—tiny variations in individuals’ DNA that, added together, can raise or lower the likelihood of suffering a particular disease. The Economist, "Macron on a mission," 8 Nov. 2019 Favipiravir is shaped like a nucleotide, the backbone building block of DNA and RNA. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "The Meat-Allergy Tick Also Carries a Mystery Killer Virus," 8 July 2019 Meanwhile, when a transcription error occurs, the complex of unfinished RNA and polymerizing enzymes stalls until GreA and other transcription factors enable the removal of the incorrect nucleotide. Quanta Magazine, "Bacteria Sacrifice DNA Repair for Better RNA," 22 Nov. 2017 So that can’t happen, the scientists changed the genetic sequence of the RNA in a way that no single nucleotide change would let the RNA fold into the stable lollipop structure again. Patricia L. Foster, The Conversation, "A newly designed vaccine may help stamp out remaining polio cases worldwide," 13 Sep. 2019

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

1908, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nucleotide

International Scientific Vocabulary, irregular from nucle- + -ide

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Time Traveler for nucleotide

Time Traveler

The first known use of nucleotide was in 1908

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Statistics for nucleotide

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nucleotide.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for nucleotide


nu·​cle·​o·​tide | \ ˈn(y)ü-klē-ə-ˌtīd How to pronounce nucleotide (audio) \

Medical Definition of nucleotide

: any of several compounds that consist of a ribose or deoxyribose sugar joined to a purine or pyrimidine base and to a phosphate group and that are the basic structural units of RNA and DNA — compare nucleoside

More from Merriam-Webster on nucleotide Encyclopedia article about nucleotide

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