supercoil

noun

su·​per·​coil ˈsü-pər-ˌkȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce supercoil (audio)
: a double helix (as of DNA) that has undergone additional twisting in the same direction as or in the opposite direction from the turns in the original helix
supercoil verb

Examples of supercoil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2008, Levens, the National Cancer Institute biologist, led a team that detected supercoils in human cells, reigniting interest in DNA’s higher-order structure. Quanta Magazine, 5 Jan. 2016

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

1939, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of supercoil was in 1939

Dictionary Entries Near supercoil

Cite this Entry

“Supercoil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supercoil. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition

supercoil

noun
su·​per·​coil ˈsü-pər-ˌkȯi(ə)l How to pronounce supercoil (audio)
: a double helix (as of DNA) that has undergone additional twisting in the same direction as or in the opposite direction from the turns in the original helix

called also superhelix

supercoil verb
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