uracil

noun

ura·​cil ˈyu̇r-ə-ˌsil How to pronounce uracil (audio)
-səl
: a pyrimidine base C4H4N2O2 that is one of the four bases coding genetic information in the polynucleotide chain of RNA compare adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Maybe an adenine gets swapped with a uracil (a substitution mutation that could also occur with any of the base pairs), or perhaps one or more bases get inserted or deleted. Quanta Magazine, 25 Feb. 2021 In the case of SARS-CoV-2, which has an RNA genome based on adenine, cytosine, guanine and uracil, sometimes mistakes happen. Quanta Magazine, 25 Feb. 2021 However, rather than the conventional duo of base pairs, adenine and uracil or cytosine and guanine, the molecules form hexamers, or six-membered rings. Quanta Magazine, 5 Feb. 2014

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

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary ur- entry 1 + acetic + -il (substance relating to)

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of uracil was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near uracil

Cite this Entry

“Uracil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uracil. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

uracil

noun

ura·​cil ˈyu̇r-ə-ˌsil How to pronounce uracil (audio)
-səl
: a pyrimidine base that is one of the four bases coding hereditary information in RNA compare adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine

Medical Definition

uracil

noun

: a pyrimidine base C4H4N2O2 that is one of the four bases coding genetic information in the polynucleotide chain of RNA compare adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine

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