po·​ly·​mer·​ase | \ pə-ˈli-mə-rās How to pronounce polymerase (audio) ; ˈpä-lə-mə-ˌrās How to pronounce polymerase (audio) , -ˌrāz \

Definition of polymerase

: any of several enzymes that catalyze the formation of DNA or RNA from precursor substances in the presence of preexisting DNA or RNA acting as a template — compare dna polymerase, rna polymerase

Examples of polymerase in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those changes, particularly in the polymerase gene, are not present in most current day H5N1 viruses. Helen Branswell, STAT, 4 May 2022 Canada generally accepts molecular Covid-19 tests, which look for the virus’s genetic material, such as polymerase chain-reaction tests. Paul Vieira, WSJ, 3 Jan. 2022 The drug is a polymerase inhibitor that induces a destructive number of mutations to the virus. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 This led them to the conclusion that the inhibitory effects of SARS-CoV-2 NSP12 on IRF3 are enacted independently of the polymerase function. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2022 Once inside cells, the virus uses an enzyme called a polymerase to grab those building blocks and assemble them into new copies of viral RNA. Stephani Sutherland, Scientific American, 1 Dec. 2021 The final Orf1a mutation is T141M in NSP8, which provides stability to the polymerase replication complex. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 22 Oct. 2021 Molnupiravir is what’s known as a polymerase inhibitor. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, 30 Nov. 2021 One polymerase inhibitor, developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP and Merck & Co, that comes in pill form and has promising preliminary data behind it is molnupiravir. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 5 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polymerase.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of polymerase

1948, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for polymerase

Time Traveler

The first known use of polymerase was in 1948

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Dictionary Entries Near polymerase



polymerase chain reaction

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Statistics for polymerase

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Polymerase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polymerase. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for polymerase


po·​ly·​mer·​ase | \ pə-ˈlim-ər-ās; ˈpä-lə-mə-ˌrās, -ˌrāz How to pronounce polymerase (audio) \

Medical Definition of polymerase

: any of several enzymes that catalyze the formation of DNA or RNA from precursor substances in the presence of preexisting DNA or RNA acting as a template


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