pro·​kary·​ot·​ic (ˌ)prō-ˌker-ē-ˈä-tik How to pronounce prokaryotic (audio)
: of, relating to, or being a typically unicellular organism (as of the domains Bacteria and Archaea) lacking a distinct nucleus and membrane-bound organelles : being or characteristic of a prokaryote
prokaryotic genes
prokaryotic microorganisms

Examples of prokaryotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to this theory, a prokaryotic cell called an archaeon (and specifically called an Asgard archaeon) consumed another prokaryotic cell, a bacterium, a couple billion years ago, creating a sort of composite of the two. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 28 June 2022 The transition from a simple prokaryotic cell to a complex eukaryotic one was accompanied by a large rise in the number of genes. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 20 Oct. 2010 The story of CRISPR/Cas began with the observation in the late 1980s and early 1990s that most prokaryotic organisms — including many bacteria and nearly all of the archaea — have an odd structure in their genome. Quanta Magazine, 7 Oct. 2020 But a new study published this month in Science discovered that a family of proteins in bacteria and archaea, the simple prokaryotic cells that are the oldest form of life, detect viruses in a way never seen before. Annie Melchor, Quanta Magazine, 29 Aug. 2022

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

Word History

First Known Use

1957, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prokaryotic was in 1957

Dictionary Entries Near prokaryotic

Cite this Entry

“Prokaryotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

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