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 Each variant has a version (more precisely, one of the alleles in a single nucleotide polymorphism) associated with a small boost to the trait in question. Charles Murray, WSJ, "Genetics Will Revolutionize Social Science," 27 Jan. 2020 Krishnamurthy and Bhowmik applied their chimeras-first concept to another system, too, with mixtures of RNA and TNA, an artificial nucleotide often used to model what might have come before the RNA world. Quanta Magazine, "Origin-of-Life Study Points to Chemical Chimeras, Not RNA," 16 Sep. 2019 The pegRNA also contains nucleotides that will substitute for the disease-causing ones in the DNA target. Sharon Begley, STAT, "New CRISPR tool has the potential to correct almost all disease-causing DNA glitches, scientists report," 21 Oct. 2019 During the cell’s efforts to reconnect the DNA, its repair machinery can introduce or delete nucleotides. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "New ‘prime’ genome editor could surpass CRISPR," 21 Oct. 2019 These nucleotides are the four building blocks of life, marked with letters A, C, G, and T. Binary sequences consisting of 0s and 1s are then translated into these four letters. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entirety of YouTube Could Fit on a Teaspoon," 13 Sep. 2019 Other scientists who built mathematical models showed that adding a nucleotide of the wrong-handedness stops the chain from extending, confirmed Joyce’s research. Luba Ostashevsky, Ars Technica, "How did life begin? It’s Chemistry 101, but in space," 26 Feb. 2018 Errors where one nucleotide such as a T or a G is added, deleted or placed in an incorrect order can halt protein production or generate an irregular protein that causes disease. Scientific American, "The Power of Spheres," 25 Dec. 2019 These diseases are caused by an unusual genetic change — an expansion of a segment of DNA that contains a repeat of three nucleotides. Jonathan Saltzman, BostonGlobe.com, "Cambridge startup targeting Huntington’s officially debuts after raising $59m," 17 Dec. 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.

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

Time Traveler for nucleotide

Time Traveler

The first known use of nucleotide was in 1908

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nucleotide

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nucleotide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nucleotides. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!