ri·​bose | \ ˈrī-ˌbōs How to pronounce ribose (audio) , -ˌbōz \

Definition of ribose

: a pentose C5H10O5 found especially in the dextrorotatory form as a component of many nucleosides (such as adenosine and guanosine) especially in RNA

Examples of ribose in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Murchison also contained nucleobases, the building blocks of genetic molecules such as RNA, and in November 2019, researchers found a major component of RNA’s backbone: the sugar molecule ribose. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, "An unusual meteorite, more valuable than gold, may hold the building blocks of life," 13 Aug. 2020 In November 2019, an international team of scientists discovered meteorites carrying the organic sugar ribose, which is essential for the formation of RNA. Brad King, WSJ, "Earth to Billionaires: Finding Life Is Space’s Final Frontier," 7 Feb. 2020 Scientists continue to theorize about the conditions that fostered the birth of life on Earth, and ribose is a key piece of evidence. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Did Hitchhiking Sugars on Asteroids Help Jumpstart Life on Earth?," 19 Nov. 2019 The researchers found sugars like arabinose and xylose -- but the most significant finding was ribose. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "NASA has found sugar in meteorites that crashed to Earth," 21 Nov. 2019 The discovery of ribose also suggests that RNA evolved before DNA, giving scientists a clearer picture of how life may have formed. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "NASA has found sugar in meteorites that crashed to Earth," 21 Nov. 2019 Hud’s team set out to tackle the next problem in RNA assembly: How do bases attach to the ribose sugar? Quanta Magazine, "Chemists Seek Possible Precursor to RNA," 5 Feb. 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ribose.' 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 ribose

1892, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ribose

International Scientific Vocabulary, from ribonic acid an acid C5H10O6 obtained by oxidation of ribose

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Statistics for ribose

Cite this Entry

“Ribose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ribose. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ribose


ri·​bose | \ ˈrī-ˌbōs, -ˌbōz How to pronounce ribose (audio) \

Medical Definition of ribose

: a pentose C5H10O5 found especially in the levorotatory D-form as a constituent of a number of nucleosides (as adenosine, cytidine, and guanosine) especially in RNA

More from Merriam-Webster on ribose

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ribose

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