reverse transcription


: the process of synthesizing DNA using RNA as a template and reverse transcriptase as a catalyst

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Then comes the critical step: a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR, which exponentially copies target RNA sequences to detectable levels. Christian Elliott, Discover Magazine, 4 Feb. 2022 To sequence the genetic material, the Pandemic Response Lab first converts the RNA into DNA, a process known as reverse transcription. New York Times, 17 Aug. 2022 Following reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing and genomic sequencing of the samples, each family member was found to be infected by the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Ashley Abramson,, 29 Dec. 2021 The data presented by Moderna Thursday limited the analysis only to cases confirmed positive by sensitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 28 Apr. 2022 But experts say the PCR test isn't the best one for every situation. PCR -- or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction -- tests can detect small amounts of the coronavirus' genetic material in a specimen collected from a human. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 19 Jan. 2022 The Bubbler is a glass tube filled with a reverse transcription reaction mixture and a cold mineral oil. Globe Staff,, 16 Dec. 2021 Those tests are known as: reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, viral cultures, or immunofluorescence assays, the CDC says. Ashley Abramson,, 14 Oct. 2021 Scientists distinguish variants using a process called quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Marlene Lenthang, ABC News, 23 June 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reverse transcription was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near reverse transcription

Cite this Entry

“Reverse transcription.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition

reverse transcription

: the process of synthesizing DNA using RNA as a template and reverse transcriptase as a catalyst
reverse-transcribe transitive verb
reverse transcribed; reverse transcribing
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