sarcomere

noun

sar·​co·​mere ˈsär-kə-ˌmir How to pronounce sarcomere (audio)
plural sarcomeres
: any of the repeating, contractile, structural subunits of striated muscle cells (as of skeletal or cardiac muscle) that are composed of the protein filaments actin and myosin
Basically, during contraction a sarcomere shortens like a collapsing telescope, as the actin filaments at each end of a central myosin filament slide toward the myosin's center.Jesper L. Andersen et al.
see z line

Examples of sarcomere in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web More myofibrils will increase the mass of a muscle cell while more sarcomeres will increase the length. Popular Science, 1 Jan. 2019 Our bodies rebuild these tears by adding either sarcomeres, which are fibrous proteins inside muscle cells, or myofibrils—chains of rod-like units also in muscle cells that give them their striped appearance. Popular Science, 1 Jan. 2019 The basic functional units of muscle tissue are called sarcomeres. Alexa Tucker, SELF, 19 Aug. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sarcomere.' 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

sarco- + -mere

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sarcomere was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near sarcomere

Cite this Entry

“Sarcomere.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sarcomere. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

sarcomere

noun
sar·​co·​mere ˈsär-kə-ˌmi(ə)r How to pronounce sarcomere (audio)
: any of the repeating, contractile, structural subunits of striated muscle cells (as of skeletal or cardiac muscle) that are composed of the protein filaments actin and myosin
Skeletal muscle is a unique kind of tissue, made up of long, thin fibers composed of several different proteins. These proteins interlock like Legos inside fibrous compartments called sarcomeres.Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times Sports Magazine
Basically, during contraction a sarcomere shortens like a collapsing telescope, as the actin filaments at each end of a central myosin filament slide toward the myosin's center.Jesper L. Andersen et al., Scientific American
see z line
sarcomeric adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on sarcomere

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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