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 DNA arrays, which detect base-pair changes called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), allow breeders to thoroughly evaluate many siblings for multiple traits. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "New genetic tools will deliver improved farmed fish, oysters, and shrimp. Here’s what to expect," 19 Nov. 2020 With sufficient funding, the writing of genomes on the billion-nucleotide scale could be a reality before the end of this decade. Andrew Hessel, Scientific American, "Whole-Genome Synthesis Will Transform Cell Engineering," 10 Nov. 2020 Of the three billion nucleotide pairs that make up my chromosomes, there was one mistake. Sarah Stewart Johnson, The New Yorker, "A Scientist’s Reckoning with the Cruelty of Chance," 4 Oct. 2020 The four bases of virus RNA are written in an alphabet composed of nucleotide chemicals: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and uracil (U). Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "‘Really Diabolical’: Inside the Coronavirus That Outsmarted Science," 7 Sep. 2020 In an insertion or deletion, though, the DNA gets an extra nucleotide base, or removes one. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "DNA Is Millions of Times More Efficient Than Your Computer's Hard Drive," 25 July 2020 Recall the four nucleotide bases that make up the DNA ladder. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "DNA Is Millions of Times More Efficient Than Your Computer's Hard Drive," 25 July 2020 In principle, a DNA or RNA strand made from left-handed nucleotide bricks should work just as well as one made of right-handed bricks (although a chimera combining left and right subunits probably wouldn’t fare so well). Quanta Magazine, "Cosmic Rays May Explain Life’s Bias for Right-Handed DNA," 29 June 2020 Scientists know that in SARS-CoV-2, one to two nucleotides change every month. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "On the trail of the coronavirus: How scientists track the pathogen," 18 May 2020

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

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nucleotide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nucleotide. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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

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