plas·​mid ˈplaz-məd How to pronounce plasmid (audio)
: an extrachromosomal ring of DNA especially of bacteria that replicates autonomously

Examples of plasmid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In July 2021, Thermo Fisher expanded its presence in San Diego County with a 67,000-square-foot plasmid manufacturing facility near its existing Carlsbad campus. Natallie Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2024 Enzymes are used to cut the plasmids into linear pieces of DNA that encode the spike protein, and a different enzyme converts that DNA into mRNA. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 4 Jan. 2024 The plasmids are amplified into billions of copies inside of bacteria, and chemicals are then added to release them from the bacteria. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 4 Jan. 2024 This is a type of cloning where scientists create copies of genes within DNA segments to combine with plasmid DNA, or self-replicating genetic material, and then place this new plasmid into a host organism, such as a bacterium, yeast, or mammal cell. Bill Frist, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 If a plasmid instructs E. coli to build the whole protein at once, the bacterium will avoid the production burden by removing or truncating the plasmid. Connie Chang, Scientific American, 12 Nov. 2021 Patel and Corn may be delighted by the falling costs, but Zayner thinks that paying $65 for a Crispr-Cas9 plasmid from Addgene is too much. Jeff Wheelwright, Discover Magazine, 2 May 2016 Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 12 Oct. 2011 Passing off the plasmid only took a few minutes, the researchers report Thursday in the journal Science. Roni Dengler, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plasmid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


plasma + -id entry 2

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of plasmid was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near plasmid

Cite this Entry

“Plasmid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


plas·​mid ˈplaz-məd How to pronounce plasmid (audio)
: an extrachromosomal ring of DNA that replicates autonomously and is found especially in bacteria compare episome

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