nucleotide

noun
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

The nucleotides that comprise DNA (A,T, C, and G) are flat molecules, and they're stacked parallel to each other along the DNA helix. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Bacteria engage in chemical warfare against viruses," 5 Dec. 2018 Another is the pentose phosphate pathway, an additional energy-producing metabolic pathway that also generates some of the nucleotides used to build genetic material. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Sugar cures cancer! (Not really, but one sugar may help chemo)," 21 Nov. 2018 These sites are called single nucleotide polymorphisms — a.k.a. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Genetics has learned a ton — mostly about white people. That’s a problem.," 27 Oct. 2018 But then the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits Consortium—the GIANT consortium for short—identified more than 20,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence height in a series of groundbreaking studies. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Shawn Bradley Is Really, Really Tall. But Why?," 18 Sep. 2018 These are areas where sequences of nucleotides—the A, C, G and T letters that make up DNA—are repeated potentially tens of times, varying in length from family to family, Torkamani says. Karen Weintraub, Scientific American, "Genetic Testing to Reunite Immigrant Families Raises Issues of Privacy and Consent," 26 June 2018 The genetic differences picked out are often things called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are places in the genome where a lone pair of bases, the chemical letters in which genetic messages are written, can vary between individuals. The Economist, "A big collaboration is trying to understand diseases of the psyche," 28 June 2018 Most new nucleotides attach to the growing oligo in 10 to 20 seconds, Palluk, Arlow, Keasling, and their colleagues report today in Nature Biotechnology. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "New technique could help scientists create a gene in just 1 day," 18 June 2018 Normally a three-part string of nucleotides (usually represented by letters) codes for a particular type of protein. Keridwen Cornelius, Scientific American, "A Shot against Cancer Slated for Testing in Massive Dog Study," 7 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of nucleotide

1908, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nucleotide

International Scientific Vocabulary, irregular from nucle- + -ide

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nucleotide

Statistics for nucleotide

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nucleotide

The first known use of nucleotide was in 1908

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nucleotide

nucleotide

noun
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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nucleotide

Comments on nucleotide

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

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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