prophase

noun

pro·​phase ˈprō-ˌfāz How to pronounce prophase (audio)
1
: the initial stage of mitosis and of the mitotic division of meiosis characterized by the condensation of chromosomes consisting of two chromatids, disappearance of the nucleolus and nuclear membrane, and formation of mitotic spindle
2
: the initial stage of the first division of meiosis in which the chromosomes become visible, homologous pairs of chromosomes undergo synapsis and crossing over, chiasmata appear, chromosomes condense with homologues visible as tetrads, and the nuclear membrane and nucleolus disappear compare diakinesis, diplotene, leptotene, pachytene, zygotene
prophasic adjective

Examples of prophase in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Alfred Sturtevant's general understanding of the power of crossing over was not contingent upon knowing that in a physical sense this process occurs in the synaptonemal complex during prophase I of meoisis I). Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 8 Oct. 2013

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

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prophase was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near prophase

Cite this Entry

“Prophase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prophase. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

prophase

noun
pro·​phase ˈprō-ˌfāz How to pronounce prophase (audio)
1
: the first stage of mitosis or the second division of meiosis in which chromosomes become visible as tightly coiled threadlike structures
2
: the first stage of the first division of meiosis in which chromosomes become visible and pair with homologous chromosomes to undergo synapsis

Medical Definition

prophase

noun
pro·​phase -ˌfāz How to pronounce prophase (audio)
1
: the initial stage of mitosis and of the mitotic division of meiosis characterized by the condensation of chromosomes consisting of two chromatids, disappearance of the nucleolus and nuclear membrane, and formation of the mitotic spindle
2
: the initial stage of the first division of meiosis in which the chromosomes become visible, homologous pairs of chromosomes undergo synapsis and crossing-over, chiasmata appear, chromosomes condense with homologues visible as tetrads, and the nuclear membrane and nucleolus disappear and which is divided into the five consecutive stages leptotene, zygotene, pachytene, diplotene, and diakinesis
prophasic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on prophase

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!