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 To try to slow it, many countries are starting to deploy tests which, at some cost in accuracy, deliver their results much more rapidly than the polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) tests that were commonplace at the pandemic’s beginning. The Economist, "Dealing with the pandemic Fast tests for covid-19 are coming," 14 Nov. 2020 Broad handles between 10% and 20% of all Covid-19 polymerase-chain-reaction tests done in the U.S., Dr. Gabriel said. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "How a Pioneering Covid Testing Lab Helped Keep Northeast Colleges Open," 16 Oct. 2020 The viral polymerase acid amplification test is performed with a nasal swab. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "COVID-19 mobile testing sites opening in the week ahead," 16 Oct. 2020 That window is rather narrow for all polymerase and protease inhibitors. William A. Haseltine, Scientific American, "Lessons from AIDS for the COVID-19 Pandemic," 1 Oct. 2020 After a positive result, he was tested again, this time with a more accurate polymerase chain test run in a lab at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, "LIVE: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to discuss mixed coronavirus test results," 7 Aug. 2020 The virus uses its own RNA copying machine, called a polymerase, to make duplicates of RNA inside the vesicles. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "Support Science Journalism," 23 June 2020 That said, this drug was designed with the intention of inhibiting the polymerase of a different virus (Ebola), so it wasn't guaranteed to work against coronavirus. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "First drug known to work against SARS-CoV-2 imaged in action," 1 May 2020 As the debate over drug pricing for coronavirus drugs is already heating up, one flashpoint is remdesivir, a drug from Gilead Sciences that appears to inhibit an RNA-copying polymerase the new coronavirus uses to replicate. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Would-be coronavirus drugs are cheap to make," 10 Apr. 2020

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Polymerase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polymerase. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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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